Jean-Marc Léger, one of the founders of La Francophonie and an ardent promoter of the French language, has died.
On the heels of a brilliant career as a journalist with the Montréal dailies La Presse and Le Devoir, Léger distinguished himself as a senior public servant with the Government of Québec, serving successively as Assistant Deputy Minister, Québec’s Delegate General in Brussels and Director General of the Office de la langue française (OLF).
A model for La Francophonie
Jean-Marc Léger laid the foundations for the global francophone institutions that make up La Francophonie. He was the founder and first Secretary General of the Association des universités partiellement ou entièrement de langue française (AUPELF). This international association of partially and fully French-language universities, which has since become the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), was the first international francophone institution to be headquartered in Montréal. It is celebrating the 50th year of its creation in 2011. At the end of the 1960s, Léger played a role in the emergence of the intergovernmental dimension of La Francophonie by establishing the Agence de coopération culturelle et technique (ACCT), based in Paris. He headed this cultural and technical cooperation agency from 1969 to 1974. The ACCT was the precursor of today’s Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).
Decorated by the Government of Québec as an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, this tireless defender of the French language was singled out for a number of awards and honours in Québec, Africa, France and elsewhere in Europe. The Secretary General of La Francophonie, Abdou Diouf, paid a special tribute to Jean-Marc Léger last spring.
On behalf of the Government of Québec, the Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie extends her sincere sympathy to Mr. Léger’s family and wishes to reiterate her commitment to build on his legacy. A motion was tabled in the National Assembly on February 15 in memory of Jean-Marc Léger.
Organisation internationale de la Francophonie
Agence universitaire de la Francophonie
Québec Government Office in Brussels