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Official speeches and statements - December 14, 2021

Publié le December 14, 2021

1. Ukraine - Telephone conversation between Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine (Paris - December 10, 2021)

The French President spoke on the telephone to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, on Friday, December 10.

In his call to President Zelensky, he reaffirmed his determination to preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and see that its stability and security are ensured.

In this regard, the two presidents agreed on the need to re-engage in negotiations in the so-called Normandy format, with the mediation of France and Germany. With this in mind, the French President will look with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the initiatives to take to calm tensions and open up the prospect of a lasting solution to the conflict in the Donbass.

The President will also speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the next few days. He will have a new conversation with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Brussels on Wednesday 15 December, on the sidelines of the Eastern Partnership summit. He will remain in contact with the leaders of the Quint (Germany, the United States, France, Italy and the United Kingdom), following up on their discussions on 6 and 7 December.

2. European Union - Statement to the press by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, following the Foreign Affairs Council meeting (Brussels - December 13, 2021)

Today’s Foreign Affairs Council examined two approaches France had previously initiated:

First of all, the Council validated a legal framework enabling sanctions to be adopted against any Malian figures obstructing the transition process as set out by the authorities a few months ago now, which set the elections for next February. This legal framework backs up the decisions of the Economic Community of West African States, which had already decided on sanctions measures and which it recalled at its meeting yesterday. I hope this process will put pressure on the Malian authorities to implement the transition process and will lead to the Malian people finally speaking and saying what they think.

And then the Council also decided to implement direct sanctions against the company Wagner - that company which, as you know, wages war by proxy, wholly irresponsibly because it’s theoretically answerable to no State, or at any rate hides behind that title of private company, wholly irresponsibly and also with total impunity, because it calls itself a mercenary company. We’ve seen that company Wagner at work, in Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic and potentially other places, maybe Mali in the future, and the Foreign Affairs Council decided on sanctions not only against the parent company, Wagner, but also three subsidiaries and eight individuals linked to the company. Those measures are applicable as from now, to signal our hostility and our determination to combat these types of practices.

3. Environment - France re-elected to the International Maritime Organization Council at its 32nd Assembly - Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Marine Affairs (Paris - December 11, 2021)

At the 32nd Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), being held in London from December 6 to 15, 2021, France has been re-elected to the organization’s Council. As the IMO’s executive body, the Council is responsible for supervising the organization’s work, under the Assembly’s authority.

In this framework, Annick Girardin, Minister of Marine Affairs, spoke on 6 December on behalf of France to the 175 member States, 80 non-governmental organizations and 63 intergovernmental organizations in the IMO.

The Minister recalled that "France is fully committed to the search for very practical and rapid solutions to implement to speed up the decarbonization of maritime transport."

In this way, France was able to emphasize that "maritime transport does not form a homogenous whole. Consequently, we must have economic and technical tools tailored to the sector’s specific characteristics in order to ensure that the regulatory measures are effective and our climate targets respected."

France has been active for many years at the IMO in support of international standards being drawn up for the security and safety of maritime transport, as well as in the prevention of polluting emissions from ships and the protection of the marine environment.

Supported by 136 member States, France was re-elected as one of the 40 members making up the IMO Council.

In conjunction with all IMO member States, France will thus continue to promote sustainable maritime transport for a sustainable planet, and will support the IMO’s central role in the development and promotion of maritime transport in the face of 21st-century challenges.

4. United Nations - International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals - Statement by Ms. Diarra Dime-Labille, legal advisor of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York - December 13, 2021)

[translation from French]

Thank you, Mr. President.

As my colleagues, I would like to thank President Agius and Prosecutor Brammertz for their presentation and their report. I would also like to thank Judge Theodor Meron for his contribution to international criminal justice over the past decades, at a time when he has decided to devote himself to other functions.

France reiterates its full support for the Mechanism and its work in the fight against impunity and the preservation of the legacy of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. 2021 has been a decisive year. Under difficult circumstances, the Mechanism has been able to continue its activities and make concrete progress, which testifies to its relevance and effectiveness. The Security Council must support it in its work.

The three decisions of June 2021 were expected. The decisions to be taken in 2022 are just as eagerly awaited. I am thinking of the appeal proceedings in the Stanisić and Simatović cases as well as Nzabonimpa et al. I am of course thinking of the trial in the Kabuga case, which will be another important moment for the victims and for national reconciliation in Rwanda. In order to complete this trial as well as the other pending proceedings in a timely manner, the Mechanism must have adequate financial resources and qualified staff.

Mr. President,

France once again urges all States to cooperate fully with the Mechanism, in accordance with their international obligations, and to support it in the pursuit of its activities. We take this opportunity to thank Niger for its decision to cooperate fully with the Mechanism and to receive nine persons who were under its jurisdiction. On the other hand, we regret that some partners are still refusing to do so, despite the repeated appeals by the President of the Mechanism, the Prosecutor and many Member States, relayed within this Council. It is essential that the last fugitives indicted by the ICTR be brought to justice. The death of the alleged perpetrators of the most serious crimes cannot be considered justice for the victims.

With regard to the cases referred to national jurisdictions, France reaffirms its full commitment to bringing the Bucyibaruta case to a conclusion within a reasonable timeframe. The trial in this case is scheduled to take place in the Assize Court between May 9 and July 1, 2022. As you can see, Mr. President, France’s objective is to ensure that no crime of genocide goes unpunished.

Mr. President,

Finally, we would like to emphasize that the work of the Mechanism is not limited to judicial activities.

The protection of the more than 3,000 witnesses is of paramount importance and we welcome the work of the Kigali and Sarajevo branches in this regard. Similarly, the work of remembrance is also essential to reconciliation. Finally, we remain deeply concerned about the denial of crimes, the glorification of genocidaires and war criminals condemned by international criminal tribunals after impartial and independent proceedings.

Finally, I could not conclude without thanking Vietnam for the excellent work done in the dedicated working group of this Council.

Thank you.