Official speeches and statements - February 28, 2019
European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau will today meet the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland.
France will chair the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from May 17 to November 27, 2019.
During their meeting, the European Affairs Minister and Mr. Jagland will discuss France’s priorities during our chairmanship:
- defending and strengthening the European system for protecting human rights, especially the rights of children and social rights;
- promoting equality and coexistence in Europe: combating violence against women; the fight against racism, discrimination and homophobia; the teaching of history in Europe and promoting European culture;
- responding together to new challenges to human rights and the rule of law: information, digital challenges, bioethical challenges, the fight against corruption, and the protection of victims of terrorism.
Ms. Loiseau and Mr. Jagland will review the major challenges facing the Council of Europe and how to resolve the dispute with Russia in a satisfactory manner.
Ms. Loiseau will remind Mr. Jagland of our wish to work closely and effectively with Council of Europe staff to prepare for this crucial period. She will also reaffirm the reservations we expressed on the Human Rights Commissioner’s memorandum on maintaining order during recent demonstrations. (...)
On Venezuela, we are going to go for a vote, as you know, a bit later this afternoon.
You know France’s position: there is a political crisis to which the response can only be a political one. There should be a political solution to a political crisis.
Based on this, for us what is particularly important is to promote a peaceful and political solution and to avoid the use of force as well as all forms of violence.
In this respect we consider that the American draft does not represent a legal basis for a use of force, nor an attempt to undermine the sovereignty of Venezuela. Rather, it reflects the tragic reality of this country today and our commitment, as I said, to a political and peaceful resolution to the crisis. That’s number one.
Number two, we also have a Russian draft, as you know. This Russian draft offers no solution to the crisis: it gives the illusion of a peaceful Venezuela, whereas more than 3.5 million people have fled the country. Nobody, I believe, can negate the humanitarian crisis and its consequences for the whole region. And I notice that the Russian draft never, at least in its current state, mentions the word "humanitarian".
So this is the basis on which France will take its decision and assume its responsibilities.