As the Ambassador of France in India, Alexandre Ziegler, put it so expressively: “Partnerships between nations are not forged only by diplomats signing MoUs.” Ziegler, who’s from Sauternes, home to the world’s finest dessert wines in Bordeaux, and who owes his Germanic name to his Swiss great-grandfather, kept repeating that French cuisine is not only haute cuisine. [...] Gout France may be a one-night affair, but it underlines one salient feature of the emerging world civilisation — food brings people closer in a discordant universe.

People in the country are not too familiar with these words, but to make it easy for our readers, the above-mentioned words are French. Promoting the French language in the country is an organisation called the Alliance Française de Suva. French is the official language of 44 countries. While in Fiji that might not be the case, the language and its influence are slowly starting to make their mark on the people.

Human Rights First and French NGO Coexister convened the #BetterTogether Inaugural Summit in Paris last month to address the problem of hate speech on the Internet and in social networks. The two-day meeting brought together civil society actors, technology companies, and French and American government representatives for sessions dedicated to the creation of coalitions and advocacy campaigns...

The French have a reputation for their enviable lifestyle and smug confidence in their superiority. Books on why French women don’t get fat and the beautiful behaviour of French children have reinforced the image. Now the Sorbonne, one of the world’s most elite universities, is inviting Britons to France to be lectured about the virtues of being French. Aimed at expats, students and retired couples, the summer course will be taught in English and French, to appeal to Francophiles across the Channel. 

Music and Diplomacy from the Early Modern Era to the Present is a book edited by Rebekah Ahrendt, Mark Ferraguto, and Damien Mahiet which delves into the topic of music diplomacy by analyzing historical and contemporary cases. It explores how music (its concepts, practices, and institutions) shape the exercise of diplomacy, the pursuit of power, and the conduct of international relations.

Last Wednesday, Canada officially launched its national Twitter accounts in French and English as part of an integrated diplomacy strategy. (...) It wasn’t long before the first wave of criticism appeared. Not over anything related to international diplomacy. Rather — because this is Canada — the brouhaha was over language.