Official speeches and statements - September 19, 2016
1. Russia - Ukraine - Syria - Conversation between M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and his Russian counterpart - Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesman (Paris - September 17, 2016)
M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, spoke to Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov on Saturday 17 September. The two ministers took stock of the situation in eastern Ukraine, following the visit by the French and German ministers to the region a few days ago. The Minister highlighted the need to implement the Minsk agreements, starting with a comprehensive ceasefire accompanied by an effective withdrawal of arms and progress on the political front.
The two ministers also discussed the situation in Syria. M. Ayrault emphasized the importance of honoring the cessation of hostilities and of the population’s full access to the humanitarian assistance they need, especially in Aleppo. This will make it possible to establish the conditions needed to resume the political negotiations on a transition, on the basis of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.
Lastly, in preparation for the opening of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly next week in New York, in which both ministers will take part, they discussed the Middle East peace process and the international community’s efforts to relaunch it.
M. Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior, spoke today to his German counterpart, Mr Thomas de Maizière, about the main priorities being promoted by France and Germany at European level concerning security and migration issues.
Regarding the fight against terrorism, the two ministers reaffirmed their shared determination to uphold their proposals—contained in the joint Franco-German initiative on domestic security, presented on 23 August 2016—during the next JHA Council on 13-14 October.
In particular, during this forthcoming meeting of European Union interior ministers, they will reiterate their call for a legislative initiative by the European Commission on the issue of encryption, the interoperability of databases to improve information-sharing at European level, and a full-scale simulation exercise by the new European Border and Coast Guard before the end of the year, so that it can be fully operational as soon as possible. France is deploying 170 officers as part of the new corps.
Regarding migration issues, Bernard Cazeneuve emphasizes that he sees eye to eye with his German counterpart on the need to continue the EU’s support for the countries of first entry—Greece and Italy—through the establishment of hot spots and security checks at the EU’s external borders, including at airports, and in the program to relocate people in clear need of protection, in which France and Germany are taking the lead. Likewise, the Interior Minister welcomes the agreement reached on the need to strengthen Europe’s policy of returning irregular, economic migrants to their countries of origin.
Lastly, on the issue of visa liberalization, the two ministers recalled that the adoption of the clause suspending visa liberalization is a precondition for any granting of this liberalization, which can take effect for each country concerned only if all the criteria set out by the European Union are strictly complied with.
At Axa’s headquarters in Paris, Mme Ségolène Royal, COP President, opened the first plenary meeting of the G20 working group tasked with devising an international climate reporting framework for businesses.
The COP President announced:
- nearly €1 billion has been given the official label «Energy and ecology transition for the climate», launched six months ago;
- the opening of applications for the International Award for Best Investor Climate Reporting, which will be presented in the autumn;
- the setting-up of a platform of green finance coalitions, which she will convene at the end of October to take stock of these commitments.
She also confirmed that France would issue the first green bonds.
Mme Ségolène Royal welcomed the announcement by Axa’s CEO that a green fund of around €100 million has been labelled.
She set out four challenges to be met as regards greening finance:
- greater alignment of the abundant initiatives and coalitions in this sphere;
- transparency of green finance;
- standardizing the requirement for what may be considered a green project;
- setting industry emissions reduction targets in order to assess practice.