YEREVAN, Armenia -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to Michaelle Jean in his speech at the opening of the summit of la Francophonie today in Armenia.

Jean, who has been secretary general of the organization of French-speaking nations since 2014, is seeking a second term.

In front of the heads of state and government, Trudeau praised the work done by the former governor general and says Jean affirmed herself as ardent defender of women, in particular by promoting their right to an education and emancipation.

Trudeau also lauded the dedication and contagious energy of Jean, who is maintaining her candidacy even though her chances of being reappointed to a second term are considered slim.

After months of supporting her, the Canadian and Quebec governments announced earlier this week that they would rally around "consensus" candidate and Jean's rival for the post.

That candidate is Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, who has the support of French President Emmanuel Macron and several African Union countries.