Members of French-speaking countries meet in Ottawa

House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer presides over Question Period in the House of Commons on...

House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer presides over Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa June 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 7:04 PM ET

A summit in Ottawa uniting French-speaking countries officially promotes democracy and human rights yet some member states are notorious for corruption and state-sponsored violence.

The 40th session of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie began in Ottawa Monday and united delegates from 71 countries with French-speaking populations.

About 350 delegates debated policies seeking to strengthen the global use of French and summit speakers waxed poetically on what they said were member states' common principles of democracy, equality between men and women, and human rights.

Several francophone countries such as Syria, Madagascar and Mali have been suspended from the assembly due to their internal human rights violations.

However, the assembly includes notorious human rights abusers such as Chad, Congo, and Ivory Coast, the latter of which is slowly emerging from years of civil war.


Videos

Photos