SWISS FEDERAL DELEGATE FOR MULTILINGUALISM, MRS. NICOLETTA MARIOLINI VISITS THE NCPBM

Mrs. NICOLETTA MARIOLINI, during her one-week stay in Cameroon spoke of the respect of each linguistic community, particularly the minority, as indispensable factors for living together.

NICOLETTA MARIOLINI, Swiss Federal Delegate for Multilingualism, was guest at the NCPBM for one week early this year. During her stay, she was granted audience by the President of the Commission, Peter MAFANY MUSONGE followed by a working session.

On the side of NCPBM were the President of the Commission, the vice President, OUMAROU DJIKA Saidou, the Secretary General, Dr. CHI ASAFOR Cornelius, and the three Presidents of the working groups on Bilingualism, Multiculturalism and Living Together, on the Swiss side were the Federal Delegate, NICOLETTA MARIOLINI, the Swiss Ambassador to Cameroon, Pietro LAZZERI and the Communication Officer at the Swiss Embassy, Mrs. MARADA.

Briefing the Press, Mrs. NICOLETTA MARIOLINI said their meeting with officials of the NCPBM, was the first step in a process to exchange experience. She pointed out that each linguistic community must be known and respected, and even protected, in the case of minority communities.She said, such respect and protection are indispensable for Living Together, and the shared responsibility of everyone in society.

 During her one-week stay in Cameroon, Mrs. NICOLETTA MARIOLINI, also held talks with the Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic, the Prime minster, the Ministers of External Relations, Territorial Administration and Decentralization and Arts and Culture. She also visited the Yaoundé Linguistic Centre, the International Handicraft Centre, and the National Museum to have a feel of what they offer in language development and artefacts.

 Another highlight of Mrs. NICOLETTA MARIOLINI’s visit was a conference with students of the International Relations Institute of Cameroon, IRIC, on the theme: Living together: Language, Culture and Decentralization. Dialogue between Cameroon and Switzerland.

It should be noted that Switzerland has nine cultural and linguistic areas. They are German, French, Italian, Romansh, Bavarian, Walser, Fraco-Provencal, Yiddish and Yeniche. It has equally experienced political and social tension arising from its cultural and linguistic diversity.

 Cameroon thus stands to gain from the Swiss experience in managing this diversity, in order to guarantee a harmonious society, where people live with a high sense of togetherness.

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