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Official speeches and statements - October 13, 2021

Publié le October 13, 2021

1. Ukraine/Russia - Meetings between Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mrs. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, with Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, and then Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Paris - October 11, 2021)

Today, October 11, the French President, together with Mrs. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, had successive meetings with Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, and Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia.

These two trilateral meetings provided an opportunity to review in detail the various measures agreed at the Normandy-format summit in Paris in December 2019, in the framework set by the Minsk agreements.

The parties agreed on the need to work towards the full implementation of its conclusions and, to this end, agreed to organize a ministerial meeting between France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine in the next few weeks.


2. Environment - Message from Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, at the summit (Paris - October 10, 2021)

[check against delivery]

President of the People’s Republic of China,
Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Heads of State and government,

I would like to begin by thanking China for organizing this event. The partly-virtual format of this COP session is the outcome of a global public health crisis which reminds us of how closely intertwined our health, economic prosperity and collective security are with the health of nature. I say this here clearly: mankind will only be able to live on this planet as long as it lives with our environment, and not at its expense.

It is up to our generation to turn the tide and recreate virtuous synergies with nature. More precisely, to make nature central once more to our development model, with a focus on the protection and restoration of ecosystems. That is why, despite the crisis that continues to paralyse our world, I wanted 2021 to be a year of action. We have put together an international program of action, by hosting two major biodiversity events in which China itself has participated.

The One Planet Summit, held in Paris in January, launched a number of tangible initiatives which are already bearing fruit. I would like to mention the PREZODE program on zoonotic diseases, which now has four participating partner States and some 30 research bodies around the world, the work of which will help us prevent the next pandemics. I also welcome the launch with our partners of the "The Mediterranean: a Model Sea by 2030" action plan, an ambitious multi-stakeholder initiative for the protection of the Mediterranean basin.

Then, in Marseille, a few weeks ago, we hosted representatives of States, civil society, the private sector and academia from around the world for the World Conservation Congress. In the Marseille Manifesto, the IUCN and its members sent a strong signal to boost nature-based solutions. A few days ahead of COP26, it is our duty to take this cue and step up action for biodiversity and for the climate.

As science confirms, the solutions offered by nature will be crucial to achieving carbon neutrality, and protecting biodiversity requires us to limit global warming. Every time we recreate biodiversity, we protect our people from climate change. Mangroves, oceans and forests are unique ecosystems and our leading allies in this battle. They absorb carbon and reduce the damage caused by extreme events when we suffer the Mr. Our survival is unimaginable without the Mr. We therefore need to pursue a two-fold agenda, and identify the path that will enable us to achieve both carbon neutrality and the restoration of damaged ecosystems.

That is the aim of the initiatives promoted by France, such as the Great Green Wall Accelerator. This major African project is a barrier for the Sahel countries against desertification and the extinction of nature, against food insecurity and in protecting rural jobs, in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions. Out of the $18 billion pledged in January, almost half has so far been delivered.

The fight against deforestation is also essential to preserve our planet’s lungs. In 2030, France will no longer import products which have caused deforestation in other States. It is about being coherent and responsible. France hopes the European Union will adopt such a commitment at European level, and that most of the great powers will join us on this agenda as soon as possible. This complementarity between biodiversity and nature also proves the urgency of stepping up the protection of oceans, humanity’s common good. France has therefore decided, at the suggestion of the United Nations, to host a One Ocean Summit in early 2022, to help the efforts of all ambitious public and private stakeholders converge and to promote tangible initiatives.

These commitments from France reflect the themes I would like the upcoming strategic Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework adopted at COP15 to include. It needs to include three priorities of our times: firstly, to address the public health crisis, we need to weave a direct link between the health of nature and public health, and therefore promote the One Health approach. Secondly, protected areas are a pillar for biodiversity protection. I therefore want the COP to be an opportunity to agree on a common goal of protecting 30% of land and sea. Lastly, this conservation goal must come with a specific target of restoring 30% of damaged ecosystems.

Providing financial resources will be crucial to achieving these ambitions. All our investments, both public and private, must be aligned with the aims of the Post-2020 Framework, meaning their impact on nature must be either null or positive. In this respect, I welcome the ongoing efforts of central banks, development banks and of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure to assess the impact of financial flows on biodiversity. All sources of funding, including those tied to existing funds like the Global Environment Facility and climate funds, need to be used to protect, sustainably manage and restore biodiversity. I call on other States and multilateral development banks to share the target France has set itself of dedicating 30% of its international climate finance to biodiversity. This inclusion and awareness of biodiversity by all sectors concerned is what will ensure the success of the Post-2020 Framework.

I repeat: we cannot lead healthy lives on a sick planet. I therefore wish China, as President of COP15, success with the adoption of an ambitious global framework, commensurate with what is at stake and with the expectations of our societies. I would like to thank President Xi Jinping for his invitation and his commitment to these issues, and I hope we will all be able to meet for the second part of this COP session in person.

I hope to see you very soon.

[source of English text: Elysée website]


3. Digital Security - Foreign digital interference - Press release issued by the Office of the Minister of State for the Digital Transition and Electronic Communication (Paris - October 11, 2021)

Cédric O invites digital platforms to set out the action they are taking to combat foreign interference.

At the Secretariat-General for Defense and National Security today, October 11, 2021, Cédric O, Minister of State for the Digital Transition and Electronic Communication, brought together platforms[1], particularly the main social media networks and search engines, to set out to the Government the action they are taking to combat foreign digital interference.

Acts of foreign digital interference are structured and coordinated operations conducted by foreign actors with a view to spreading, via digital platforms, misleading and/or hostile content which undermines the nation’s fundamental interests.

This manipulation today interferes in every field of public debate by exploiting topical and social issues, thus altering people’s understanding of facts and/or damaging honest debate.

On July 13, 2021, in view of the serious threat this interference poses to the workings of democratic life, the Government created Viginum, a service with national jurisdiction attached to the Secretariat-General for Defense and National Security (SGDSN) and tasked with monitoring, identifying and describing trends whereby content of foreign origin that is hostile to France is spread on digital platforms.

With a view to ensuring that the democratic elections of 2022 are properly prepared for, Cédric O today brought together at the SGDSN the main digital platforms, particularly social media networks and search engines, to discuss the action being taken to prevent and detect foreign digital interference.

The meeting was the first discussion of this kind between the platforms and Viginum.

[1] The platforms concerned are those covered by Act No. 2018-1202 of 22 December 2018 against the manipulation of information


4. United Nations - Diversity, statebuilding and the search for peace - Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New-York - October 12, 2021)

[translation from French]

Mr. President,

I welcome your presence among us and thank you for bringing us together on such a relevant topic.

And I also thank the Secretary General for his participation.

Conflicts often thrive by exploiting differences. Since 1957, the European project has shown that thanks to political will, exchanges between peoples, cooperation and solidarity, we can act so that these differences strengthen peace.

It is, first and foremost, through the political word that peace is built. This is why I welcome the participation of a former and a current Head of State, President Mbeki and President Kagame. Both have taken the necessary decisions in their countries to reconcile and rebuild.

Preserving diversity helps to prevent conflict.

For France, the fight against all forms of discrimination must be part of a universal and indivisible approach, based on the equality of all individuals, without distinction.

France condemns all violations of human rights, violence and persecution committed against individuals, in particular because of their gender, origin, religion, belief or sexual orientation and gender identity, whether these affiliations are real or assumed.

This is why France supports, for example, the fund for victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East. This fund has already supported around 100 projects in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

Secondly, conflict resolution requires inclusive political processes.

In the Sahel, terrorist groups use differences to stir up hatred between communities. France, in conjunction with the United Nations, the European Union and its other partners, encourages reconciliation processes and the return of the State, particularly in outlying areas, in order to guarantee lasting peace and equal rights for all components of these societies. Education must be at the heart of these efforts.

In the Horn of Africa, we call on the Ethiopian Prime Minister to launch an inclusive national dialogue without further delay in accordance with his commitments.

The inclusion of all components of society must be at the heart of peace processes, in particular that of women and youth. We welcome the presence of Mrs. Fawzia Koofi and recall that the substantial participation of women is not negotiable, in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

The Generation Equality Forum, hosted in Paris at the end of June 2021 and co-organized with UN Women and Mexico, launched a monitoring and accountability mechanism for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda entitled the "Women, Peace, Security and Humanitarian Action Compact". The universal implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda is a priority of our diplomacy. The publication of our third national action plan illustrates this commitment.

Finally, peacebuilding can only succeed by preserving diversity.

This is the responsibility of every State, and France is doing its utmost to fulfill it. This is the meaning of the approach taken by France to achieve a shared historical understanding of the Tutsi genocide. This is the meaning of our commitment to ensure that no one suspected of genocide crimes can escape justice.

In Iraq, France welcomes national efforts to rebuild the country after the abuses committed by Daech, while paying special attention to minorities. This has recently been reflected in the Yazidi Female Survivors Law, the historic visit of the Pope, and joint work with UNESCO to "revive the spirit" of Mosul. On August 29 in Mosul, President Macron announced concrete commitments to support the reconstruction of this governorate, for the benefit of all components of Iraqi society, in the fields of heritage and education.

The United Nations can further support national efforts. The Peacebuilding Fund must continue to support accountability and the fight against impunity. It is already doing so in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, through its Peace, Justice, Reconciliation and Reconstruction program in Central Kasai. The Fund will continue to receive support from France, which has quadrupled its contributions in 2021.

Mr. President,

France will continue to do its utmost to make diversity a factor of peace.

Thank you.