French Ambassador Expects Cambodia to Host the 2026 Francophonie Summit

French Ambassador Jacques Pellet highly anticipates Cambodia to be the host of the 20th Summit of the Francophonie (the French-speaking world Summit) in 2026. Photo: ThmeyThmey

SIEM REAP – French Ambassador Jacques Pellet highly anticipates Cambodia to be the host of the 20th Summit of the Francophonie (the French-speaking world Summit) in 2026. 

Pellet said the summit will enable Cambodia to strengthen its diplomatic ties with the heads of state and government from around 90 member states and observers of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). 

In an interview the Envoy gave to Thmey Thmey Digital Media in Siem Reap province, Jacques Pellet said Cambodia receives unwavering support from French President Emmanuel Macron for its bid to host the summit.

“Regarding Cambodia’s candidacy for the 20th Francophonie Summit in 2026, I believe the official announcement in the upcoming summit in Paris will proceed as expected,” he said. 

France will host the 19th Francophonie Summit in Villers-Cotterêts in October with the high anticipation that Cambodia will be the leading candidate as the next host in two years. 

Jacques Pellet has shown his high confidence in Cambodia in organizing such an event in the country. 

He said around 90 heads of state and government will come to celebrate the Francophonie summit. If everything goes as expected, Cambodia will be the second country in Asia to host the Francophonie summit after Vietnam in 1997.

French leaders, particularly President Emmanuel Macron have demonstrated their support towards Cambodian dignitaries who have paid official visits to France during the last 15 months. 

Those dignitaries include the Former Prime Minister Hun Sen who paid a visit in December 2022, the royal visit of King Norodom Sihamoni in November 2023 and the visit of Prime Minister Hun Manet in January 2024, which was followed by a of Khuon Sudary, President of the National Assembly, in March.

Jacques Pellet praised the improving relations between Cambodia and France. He underlined the ongoing French language and Francophone culture celebrations being held from March 16 to 24 in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, which include film screenings, concerts, French song contests, sports activities and other cultural activities. 

Those events can showcase strong diplomatic ties between both countries, he said.

“Although there are no French-speaking people on the streets as there were in the 1950s and 1960s, Francophonie is still active in the country, particularly the intellectual ranking people,” Jacques Pellet said. 

“In the Royal Government of the 7th Legislature of the National Assembly, 40 percent of the ministers can speak French.

“Although we have never heard of it in public, PM Hun Manet speaks French very fluently. Others include Deputy Prime Minister Hun Many, Minister of Civil Service, Deputy Prime Minister Koeut Rith, Justice Minister and so on,” he said. 

The first Francophonie Summit took place in 1986. During the meeting, heads of state and government who are members of the OIF discussed and exchanged perspectives on issues including international politics, global economy, Francophone cooperation, human rights, education, culture and democracy and so on. 

The 18th Summit of La Francophonie was held in Djerba, Tunisia, in November 2022. France will be the host for the third time this year. 

The OIF was founded on March 20, 1970. His Majesty King-Father Norodom Sihanouk was also one of the founding members. Other founding members included Former President of Senegal Léopold Sédar Senghor, Former President of Tunisia Habib Bourguiba and Former President of Niger Hamani Diori. 

According to the OIF, there are 88 member states and governments in the organization, of which 54 countries are full members, 7 are associate members and the other 27 are observers. Cambodia became a full member in 1993 after two years as an observer.

Currently, there are 321 million French speakers worldwide and 144 million learners. French is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world and the fourth largest language on the Internet.


Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this story was translated by Rin Ousa for Cambodianess.

Related Articles