News

Official speeches and statements – November 15, 2021

1. Libya – Declaration of the Paris International Conference for Libya – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris, 12/11/2021)

=Translated from French=

On 12 November 2021, the President of the French Republic, the Federal Chancellor of Germany, the President of the Italian Council of Ministers, the President of the interim Presidency Council of Libya, the Prime Minister of the interim Government of National Unity of Libya, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, co-convened a conference of Heads of State and Government on Libya, in Paris, in support of the implementation of a Libyan-led and owned political process facilitated by the United Nations, leading to a political solution to the Libyan crisis.

The following countries and regional organizations participated in the Conference: Algeria, Chad, China, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of Congo (chair of the African Union), Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait (Chair of the Ministerial Council of the League of Arab States), Malta, Morocco, the Netherlands, Niger, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, the Republic of the Congo (Chair of the African Union High-Level Committee on Libya), the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States and the Executive Secretariat of the Group of Five for the Sahel.

a. We, participants, reaffirm our full respect and commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya. We reject all foreign interferences in Libyan affairs.

b. We welcome the progress made towards restoring peace and stability in Libya since the Berlin Conference I, with the signing of the ceasefire agreement on 23 October 2020, the adoption of the Libyan political roadmap in Tunis on 15 November 2020, and the approval of the interim Government of National Unity on 10 March 2021. We reiterate our commitment to the success of the Libyan political process, to the full implementation of the 23 October 2020 ceasefire agreement and to the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 December 2021, in accordance with the Libyan political roadmap and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions 2570 and 2571 (2021) and the Berlin II conference conclusions.

c. We acknowledge, since the 2015 Libyan Political Agreement, the outcomes of the Paris and Palermo conferences and other international and regional efforts on Libya, and crucially, the progress made through the Berlin Process on Libya. We welcome the 21 October 2021 Libya Stabilization Conference in Tripoli as an important contribution under Libyan leadership to the international efforts aiming at a political solution to the Libyan crisis, and as a historical milestone ten years after the Libyan Revolution. We commend the commitment of the interim Presidency Council and the interim Government of National Unity to ensuring the success of the political transition through the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 December 2021, and to implementing the ceasefire agreement through the comprehensive “Action Plan for the withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces from the Libyan territory”.

d. We reaffirm the international community’s continued commitment, in partnership with the Libyan interim executive authority (interim Presidency Council and interim Government of National Unity) and other relevant Libyan authorities, for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Libya through an inclusive Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process facilitated by the United Nations. We recall the creation of the High National Reconciliation Commission under the auspices of the interim Presidency Council and call on all actors to commit in earnest to national reconciliation.

e. We commend the role of the United Nations in the operationalization of the conclusions of the first and second Berlin conferences and in the implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions, including 1325, 1970, 2570 and 2571. We express strong support for the ongoing efforts of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to further Libyan-led and Libyan-owned inclusive political, security and economic dialogue tracks, and to monitor and report abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law. We recognize the important role and efforts of neighbouring countries, the Libya Quartet (African Union, League of Arab States, European Union and the United Nations) and the African Union High-Level Committee on Libya in support of the Libyan peace process under the auspices of the United Nations.

POLITICAL

1. We stress the importance for all Libyan stakeholders to commit unequivocally to the holding of free, fair, inclusive and credible presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 December 2021 as stipulated in the Libyan political roadmap and endorsed in UNSC resolutions 2570 and 2571 (2021) as well as the conclusions of the second Berlin conference of 23 June 2021, and to accept their outcomes. We commend the technical steps already taken to prepare for the voting, as confirmed by the High National Elections Commission (HNEC), including the registration of 2.8 million Libyans on the electoral lists. We take note of the announcement of the opening of the registration process for presidential and parliamentary candidates, as well as of an electoral timeline for presidential and parliamentary elections starting on 24 December 2021. We also take note of the HNEC’s announcement that final results for both presidential and parliamentary elections shall be announced simultaneously. We look forward to the formalization by the HNEC of the full electoral calendar and its implementation in a peaceful environment. It is our understanding that, to avoid any vacuum of power, the transfer of power from the current interim executive authority to the new executive authority will take place following the simultaneous announcement by the HNEC of the final results of both presidential and parliamentary elections.

2. We stress the importance of an inclusive and consultative electoral process. We therefore call upon the Libyan stakeholders to take steps, including with the good offices of UNSMIL, to increase mutual trust and build consensus for the upcoming elections on 24 December 2021.

3. We fully support the efforts of the HNEC to put in place the technical basis for successful presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 December 2021, including the simultaneous announcement of the final results of parliamentary and presidential elections. We share the aspiration of the Libyan people to exercise the right to vote for their executive and legislative representatives. We recognize the need for Libyan institutions to be unified so as to enjoy a democratic mandate from the people and we encourage the new parliament, once elected, to focus on establishing a permanent constitution that is broadly accepted throughout Libya.

4. We call on all relevant Libyan authorities and institutions to provide the HNEC with the required support to deliver free, fair, inclusive and credible elections, and the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and the inclusion of youth. We urge Libyan leaders and institutions to take specific measures to ensure a substantial representation of women in the new legislature, and to engage civil society in these efforts. We recall that upcoming national presidential and parliamentary elections will enable the Libyan people to elect representative and unified institutions from among all Libyan political actors and will contribute to strengthening the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya. We commend the efforts led by the interim Government of National Unity in coordination with the HNEC to take the necessary measures to ensure the security of the electoral process and a democratic handover of power to the new government resulting from the elections. We underscore UNSMIL’s role in supporting the 24 December 2021 elections and we express our commitment to fully supporting Libya in the electoral process.

5. We urge all Libyan stakeholders and candidates to respect their commitments towards holding elections on 24 December 2021, to publicly commit to respecting the rights of their political opponents before, during and after the elections, to accept the results of free, fair and inclusive elections, and to commit to the Code of Conduct prepared by the HNEC. We call on all Libyan stakeholders to continue to work together in the spirit of unity once results are announced and to refrain from any actions that could obstruct or undermine the outcome of the elections and the democratic handover of power to the newly elected authorities and institutions. We affirm that individuals or entities, inside or outside of Libya, who might attempt to obstruct, undermine, manipulate or falsify the electoral process and the political transition will be held accountable and may be designated by the United Nations Sanctions Committee in accordance with UNSC resolution 2571 (2021). We commit to respecting the Libyan electoral processes and urge all other international actors to do the same.

6. We encourage United Nations Member States and international and regional organizations to provide electoral observers, in coordination with the Libyan authorities, in particular with the interim Government of National Unity and the HNEC.

7. We stress the need for a comprehensive and inclusive national reconciliation process, based on the principle of transitional justice and respect for human rights, led by Libyan authorities, including the High National Reconciliation Commission, with the support of the United Nations, the African Union, the League of Arab States, regional and neighbouring countries. We emphasize the role and rights of women, and their full, meaningful and equal participation in political and public life.

SECURITY

8. We reaffirm our commitment to the full implementation of the 23 October 2020 ceasefire agreement and we welcome the reopening of the coastal road. We highly commend the work of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) and we commit to supporting and fully coordinating with the relevant Libyan authorities and the 5+5 JMC and support the latter’s pivotal role in maintaining and taking steps towards the full and timely implementation of the ceasefire agreement. We welcome the exchange of prisoners and joint security operations under the auspices of the 5+5 JMC.

9. We express our full support for the comprehensive “Action Plan for the withdrawal of mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces from the Libyan territory” developed by the 5+5 JMC in line with UNSC resolution 2570 (2021) including through the prompt development of timelines, as a first step towards the full implementation of the 23 October 2020 ceasefire agreement and UNSC resolution 2570. We welcome the meeting that took place in Geneva from 6 to 8 October 2021 in that regard. We commit to facilitating its synchronised, phased, gradual and balanced implementation as set out in the action plan and call on all relevant actors to implement its provisions without delay. We note that the repatriation of mercenaries, foreign fighters, foreign forces and non-state armed actors will require the guidance of the 5+5 JMC with the support of UNSMIL and swift coordination between their countries of origin and Libya. We commend the meeting of the 5+5 JMC with neighbouring countries (Chad, Niger, Sudan) in Cairo from 30 October to 1 November 2021 to agree on a concept of a communication and coordination mechanism. (1)

[(1) Turkey introduces a reservation with regard to the status of foreign forces.]

10. We welcome the arrival of the initial group of UNSMIL ceasefire monitoring team in support of the Libyan Ceasefire Monitoring Mechanism established under the leadership of the 5+5 JMC, we call for its full deployment in accordance with UNSC resolution 2570 (2021) and we urge the Libyan Ceasefire Monitoring Mechanism to rapidly agree on a plan to monitor and verify the presence and withdrawal of all mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces.

11. We call on all relevant actors to implement and enforce UNSC sanctions, including through national and international implementation measures, against breaches of the arms embargo and of the ceasefire. We take note of the work of the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Operation (EUNAVFOR MED) IRINI concerning the implementation of the arms embargo through inspections of vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya.

12. We welcome ongoing Libyan-led initiatives towards Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) of members of armed groups and non-state actors into society, with the involvement of all Libyan institutions including municipalities, Chambers of Commerce and communities, including women, which open the path to a comprehensive, inclusive, nationwide DDR plan as part of a political settlement in Libya. We stress the need for urgent initiatives to assist Libyan authorities in implementing an effective DDR plan. We emphasize the importance for gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence to be addressed in ceasefire monitoring, DDR and Security Sector Reform (SSR) arrangements, vetting of armed security forces, justice, reparations, and recovery and development. We emphasize the importance of the supervision of 5+5 JMC on the full implementation of this DDR plan in coordination with Libyan authorities and UNSMIL.

13. We express our support for SSR and stress the importance of the establishment of a unified, inclusive, accountable civilian-led military and security architecture for Libya and we encourage Libyan authorities to further engage and achieve progress through inclusive dialogue on these issues, sheltered from foreign interference, and especially taking into account the Cairo talks.

14. We reaffirm the need to combat terrorism in Libya by all means in accordance with the UN Charter and international law, recognizing that development, security, and human rights are mutually reinforcing and are vital to an effective and comprehensive approach to countering terrorism. We commend and recognize the important role of Libyans in fighting terrorism in their territory. We call on all parties to dissociate from UN-listed terrorist groups and individuals. We call for the implementation of UNSC resolution 2368 (2017) and other relevant resolutions concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida, and designated individuals, groups, and entities, in particular the provisions related to the travel ban, arms embargo and freezing of financial assets. We reaffirm the need for enhanced cooperation to counter the foreign terrorist fighters threat in accordance with UNSC resolution 2322 (2016), and we welcome the establishment of the Libya National Authority on counter-terrorism, in accordance with the United Nations Global counter-terrorism Strategy.

15. We commend the interim Presidency Council for its pro-active role in promoting dialogue with Libya’s neighbouring countries, given the regional dimension of the crisis including threats arising from the illicit transfer and accumulation of weapons and the free movement of armed groups and mercenaries and foreign terrorist fighters across borders. We welcome efforts of neighbouring countries in supporting Libyans to restore the stability of their country, including through activating the quadripartite border management agreement between Libya, Sudan, Chad, and Niger and through efforts led by the African Union and the League of Arab States.

ECONOMY

16. We underline the importance of further Libyan steps towards unification of the Central Bank of Libya and for the implementation, without delay, of the recommendations of the international financial audit review. We stress the need for a transparent management and equitable distribution of resources and delivery of public services across the whole country, and we call on the interim Government of National Unity to continue its efforts to restore the unity of Libyan economic and financial institutions and to improve basic services for the benefit of all people in Libya, wherever they live in the country. In this regard, we commend efforts exerted towards the reunification of Libyan sovereign institutions.

17. We call on all stakeholders to respect and safeguard the integrity and unity of Libyan financial institutions and of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), in line with UNSC resolutions 2259 (2015), 2441 (2018) and 2571 (2021). We express concern regarding continuous attempts of armed groups to exert control over the NOC and oil exports, and we affirm that such actions may pose a threat to the peace, security and stability of Libya.

18. We call on the Libyan House of Representatives and the interim Government of National Unity to resume consultations towards approving a balanced and consensual national budget. We stress the importance of regularizing the budget formulation and promulgation process to enhance budgetary governance, transparency and accountability and in the meantime, of publishing information of spending under financial arrangements.

19. We underscore that unified, democratically elected authorities accountable to the people and dedicated to transparency, unity, fighting corruption, and providing for the needs of the people throughout Libya would send a positive signal that assets, once unfrozen, would be managed and used for the stability and development of Libya and for the prosperity of the Libyan people. In this respect, we affirm our intention to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 of UNSC resolution 1970 (2011) shall be made available to and for the benefit of the Libyan people at a future time to be decided by the UNSC. We commit to helping the relevant Libyan authorities to promote the integrity and unity and good governance of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), including through a credible, comprehensive audit of the LIA and its subsidiaries.

RESPECT FOR INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS

20. We recall the obligation of the Libyan interim authorities and all actors in Libya to fully respect international law, in particular international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including those regarding the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure. We welcome the efforts of the Libyan interim authorities to respect and fulfil their obligations. We urge all actors in Libya to guarantee the full, safe and unhindered access of the United Nations and international humanitarian agencies to all people in need, Libyans and non-Libyans, in coordination with Libyan authorities, including in all places of detention. We underline the importance of access to humanitarian assistance to all people in Libya, in full respect of the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, consistent with international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

21. We emphasize that all those responsible for violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, Libyan and foreign, will be held accountable, including through the measures set forth in relevant UNSC resolutions, including 1970 (2011). We recall the urgency of ending all violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in Libya including arbitrary arrest and detention, inhuman and degrading conditions of detention and of ensuring access to justice for all, particularly women and girls, on issues of sexual and gender-based violence. In this respect, we acknowledge the work done by the committee of Libyan experts and human rights activists, convened by UNSMIL and OHCHR, to develop appropriate legislation aimed at preventing and combating violence against women.

22. We commit to condemning and acting against all violations and abuses of migrants, acts of migrant smuggling and human trafficking, or facilitation thereof. Noting that Libya is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, we welcome the work of the UNSMIL and UN agencies, funds and programmes in coordinating and supporting the provision of humanitarian assistance and protection for refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers. We recognize the efforts and engagement of the Libyan interim authorities in resolving issues relating to migration despite challenges on the ground. We call for the full implementation of existing measures and for the reporting of violations to the UNSC Sanctions Committee for Libya. We recall that all violations and abuses of migrants, acts of migrant smuggling and human trafficking, as well as all other violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in Libya, that constitute a threat to international peace and security, may be a basis for designation for targeted UNSC sanctions including travel ban and the freezing of assets.

23. We recall the necessity to implement the Libyan political roadmap’s provisions to respect political and civil rights, democratic principles and equality of all citizens, including the rejection of hate speech, incitement or the use of violence in the political process. We call on all Libyan actors to respect economic, social and cultural rights, as well as fundamental freedoms including the rights to freedom of assembly and association and freedom of expression and recognizing the critical role of civil society in ensuring the legitimacy of electoral processes. Libyan civil society, including human rights defenders and journalists, must be protected as key partners and interlocutors to help ensure peace and stability in the political process.

24. We underline the important role of the Independent Fact-Finding Mission mandated by the UN Human Rights Council (in Resolution 43/39 of 22 June 2020) in establishing facts and circumstances and documenting alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by all parties in Libya since the beginning of 2016, with a view to ensuring accountability that should also form part of the national reconciliation process, and we take note of the Mission’s report to the Human Rights Council in September 2021. We call for full, safe and unhindered access of the Mission to all parts of the country to fulfil its mandate. We welcome the efforts and steps made by the interim Government of National Unity towards reforming and restructuring the national human rights institution, and we welcome its continued full cooperation with the Independent Fact-Finding Mission including during its visit to Libya from 23 to 26 August 2021. We welcome the interim Government of National Unity’s commitment to respecting and fulfilling Libyan international obligations, including under international humanitarian law and international human rights law. We emphasize the importance of providing technical assistance and capacity building to Libya.

25. We welcome the continued resumption of voluntary humanitarian evacuation and voluntary humanitarian return flights of migrants and refugees out of Libya and we acknowledge the cooperation of Libyan interim authorities in that regard. We are committed to assisting, as appropriate, the Libyan authorities in developing a comprehensive and gender responsive approach to addressing migration and forced displacement, in collaboration with UN agencies and programs, consistent with the principles of regional and international cooperation and in compliance with international law. We underline the positive role played by the United Nations, the African Union, and the European Union as part of the tripartite mechanism and we invite them to intensify their efforts./.

(Source : Elysée website)


2. Ukraine – Joint statement by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and M. Heiko Maas, Federal Foreign Minister of Germany (Brussels, 15/11/2021)

We, the Foreign Ministers of Germany and France, met today in Brussels with the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, on the sidelines of the Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. Germany and France are steadfast in their unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Against the backdrop of renewed concerns about Russian movements of troops and hardware near Ukraine, we call on Russia to adopt a posture of restraint and provide transparent information about its military activities. Any new attempt to undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity would have serious consequences.

We called on Ukraine to maintain a posture of restraint. Already in Spring 2021, Ukraine contributed significantly to the de-escalation of the situation, despite Russian aggressive rhetoric and failure to provide transparent information in line with its international obligations.

We also shared concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in Donbas. We called on Ukraine to continue the full implementation of the Minsk agreements and to maintain its full engagement into the discussions conducted in the Normandy format.

We remain committed to the resolution of the conflict on the basis of the Minsk agreements. We express regret that Russia has repeatedly refused to meet at the level of Foreign Ministers in the Normandy format and once more express our readiness to meet and engage constructively and substantially. We repeat our call on Russia to do the same in order to achieve lasting peace in Donbas.

Germany, France and Ukraine will continue to exchange and coordinate closely on all matters of common interest and concern./.


3. European Union – M. Jean-Yves Le Drian’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels, 15 November 2021) – Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs spokesperson (Paris, 14/11/2021)

M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will take part in the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council, which is to meet in Brussels on Monday 15 November 2021.

On the Sahel, the Minister will argue that the European Union should support the action of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in relation to Mali and swiftly adopt a legal framework in order to take restrictive measures similar to those taken by the African regional organization against those hindering the implementation of the transition. He will speak of the Coalition for the Sahel’s multidimensional strategy and will recall our strong collective concern about the Malian transitional authorities’ possible use of Wagner mercenaries, whose atrocities, committed with complete impunity in other countries, have been widely documented.

Jean-Yves le Drian will report to his European counterparts on the discussions that he and the Minister for the Armed Forces held in Paris with their Russian counterparts on 12 November, which, in addition to the Sahel, focused in particular on Belarus and Ukraine. At the Council, the Minister will meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Mr Dmytro Kuleba, together with his German counterpart, Mr Heiko Maas.

On Belarus, the Minister will express in particular France’s full solidarity with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in the face of the Belarusian regime’s unacceptable exploitation of migratory flows. France will confirm its agreement with the adoption of a fifth package of European Union sanctions against Belarus.

Jean-Yves Le Drian will emphasize France’s commitment to the Eastern Partnership, during a ministerial meeting aimed at preparing the summit to be held on 15 December 2021. He will reiterate the European Union’s commitment to the Western Balkans, following the discussions by heads of State and government on 6 October.

The Minister will also inform his counterparts of the results of the International Conference for Libya, held in Paris on 12 November.

With the security and humanitarian situation in Ethiopia severely deteriorating, he will signal the importance of the mediation efforts under way to achieve a ceasefire.

The Minister will take part in a joint meeting of European Union foreign and Defence ministers, who will discuss the work under way on the Strategic Compass, a document that will help consolidate the European strategic culture and set the framework for the EU’s European Security and Defence Policy./.


4. Multilateralism – Paris Peace Forum – Presentation of the International Observatory on Information and Democracy (13 November 2021) – Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs spokesperson (Paris, 14/11/2021)

Following on from the first Summit for Information and Democracy, held in New York on 24 September 2021, M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, chaired a working group to present the future International Observatory on Information and Democracy, at the Paris Peace Forum on 13 November. The working group was led by M. Christophe Deloire, Chair of the Forum on Information and Democracy, in the presence of German Foreign Minister Mr Heiko Maas, European Commission Vice-President Ms Věra Jourová, and Ms Maria Ressa, winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.

Now that information has become a common good, all the participants stressed the need for concerted responses to establish democratic rules for regulating content and to fight information manipulation, promote independent, pluralist, high-quality, financially sustainable journalism, and strengthen people’s information and media literacy in the digital age.

The Observatory, which will operate according to the IPCC model for the climate, will be responsible for assessing developments in the global information space and publishing regular reports, particularly for the 43 member States of the Partnership for Information and Democracy and for civil society. It will help public officials take the decisions necessary to address the root causes of the failures of the information space and develop automatic procedures so we can defend our freedoms and our principles in the digital information age.

The preparatory work for launching the Observatory was presented by Mr Angel Gurría, former OECD Secretary-General, and Ms Shoshana Zuboff, Professor Emerita at Harvard Business School./.


5. Russia – Meeting between the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Minister for the Armed Forces with their Russian counterparts (Paris, 12/11/2021)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, received their Russian counterparts, Ministers Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu, within the framework of the Franco-Russian Cooperation Council for Security Issues.

This meeting is part of firm and demanding dialogue that France is engaging in with Russia in order to increase the predictability and stability of our relations.

At this meeting, political and military dimensions of several international and regional crises were raised. In particular, the French ministers spoke of the unacceptable nature of the deployment of Wagner mercenaries in the Sahel-Saharan strip. They reiterated their messages of firmness with regard to the risks of regional destabilization and the undermining of the interests of France and its partners fighting terrorism in the Sahel region. They underscored their attentiveness to adhering to the timeframe for transition by the Malian authorities.

The two ministers expressed their concerns about the deteriorating security situation in Ukraine and clearly warned of the grave consequences of the fresh attempts to undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity. They called on Moscow to reinvest in the Normandy Format negotiations and agree for a N4 ministerial meeting to be held in the near future, consistent with President Putin’s commitment. They also reminded Russia of the commitments it has made, within the framework of the OSCE, regarding the transparency of military movements and activities and the full implementation of the confidence-building and transparency measures provided for within this framework.

With regard to the situation in Belarus, the two ministers condemned the irresponsible and unacceptable behaviour of the Belarusian authorities when it comes to the use of migration flows for political ends targeting several European Union countries. They encouraged Russia to mobilize its close ties with Belarus to ensure that this behaviour is put to an end.

The two ministers also addressed the joint efforts of France and Russia in their positions as co-chairs of the Minsk Group to reach a lasting peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the close cooperation between the E3 group and Russia in support of the swift resumption of negotiations with Iran so that Iran returns to compliance with the JCPOA at the earliest opportunity.

In the face of the international peace and security challenges posed by the crisis in Afghanistan, the two ministers called for the permanent members of the UN Security Council to remain united in order to urge the Taliban to act in a tangible, lasting and verifiable manner to demonstrate their will to act in accordance with the international community’s expectations.

The two ministers shared their assessments of the regional security situation in the Middle East, calling for the establishment of political conditions for refugees to return to Syria and the extension of the resolution on cross-border humanitarian assistance beyond January 2022. They underscored the complementary efforts of the Amman Group and the Quartet in the Middle East Peace Process.

The two ministers addressed strategic stability issues, expressing their concern about the gradual elimination of arms control regimes in Europe. They welcomed the resumption of US-Russia dialogue on strategic stability, emphasizing that these discussions should fully take into account the security interests of Europeans. They underscored the importance of maintaining the channels of discussion between the European Union and Russia, as well as Russia and NATO.

The ministers also expressed their growing concerns about the human rights and civil liberties situation in Russia, particularly with regard to the situation of Alexei Navalny. Lastly, they stressed the importance of resolving the MH17 affair./.


6. Climate – Fossil fuels/COP26/France joins the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, BOGA, dedicated to reducing oil and gas production worldwide – Communiqué issued by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition (Paris, 11/11/2021)

In the framework of COP26, currently being held in Glasgow, France has today announced that it is joining the international Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, BOGA, alongside other governments determined to set an end date to speed up the gradual phasing-out of fossil fuel production, thus contributing to the Paris Agreement targets. The alliance, co-chaired by Costa Rica and Denmark, aims to create an international community of practices to help governments honour their commitments to the gradual elimination of oil and gas production.

BOGA’s signatories thus firmly pledge to support a socially just and equitable global transition to align oil and gas production with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. This commitment will be followed by practical actions, with the main members pledging to end new concessions, licensing or leasing rounds and set a Paris-aligned date for ending oil and gas production.

The Alliance addresses four main goals:

- To increase global climate ambitions and align oil and gas production with the Paris Agreement’s temperature target, i.e. well below 2°C, while pursuing efforts to reach 1.5°C;

- To ensure the issue is placed firmly on the international energy and climate agenda and normalize the need for an equitably-managed, progressive elimination of oil and gas production globally in order to achieve the Paris Agreement targets and commitments to climate neutrality;

- To seize and harness the momentum of those first to act, in order to encourage others to do so and provide a hub for these new commitments;

- To create an international community of practices around the support and management of a just, equitable and progressive withdrawal from oil and gas production.

The BOGA initiative currently has 12 signatories: Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Italy, Ireland, Greenland, New Zealand, Wales, Portugal, Quebec, Sweden and California./.


7. Human rights – Labour – Launch of the national acceleration strategy to eliminate child labour, forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery in France and the world – Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Economic Inclusion (Paris, 10/11/2021)

On Tuesday 9 November 2021, ministers Elisabeth Borne, Franck Riester and Adrien Taquet launched a national acceleration strategy to make France a “pioneer country” of Alliance 8.7, the global partnership for eradicating child labour, forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery. The ministers tasked Anousheh Karvar, the French Government’s International Labour Organization (ILO) delegate, to develop the national strategy by putting it into practice with the administrations concerned (nine ministries and MIPROF (Interministerial Mission for the Protection of Women against Violence and the Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings), company networks, French social partners, NGOs and grassroots voluntary organizations, and European and international organizations.

The national acceleration strategy proposes to strengthen and complement existing interministerial action plans. It aims to increase and accelerate France’s efforts to meet Target 8.7 of the United Nations Agenda 2030’s Sustainable Development Goals, with a view to eradicating child labour by 2025, and forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery by 2030, based on a threefold approach: increasing prevention by making stakeholders better able to act; protecting victims more effectively by making headway on detection, care and remediation; and giving our action ambitious, demanding European and international momentum.

So the strategy lays the foundations for a renewed effort by providing a framework for action for public authorities and stakeholders on our national territory, in our European trade and investment policies, in our international cooperation to promote a responsible economy, in the supply chains of multinational companies established on our soil and in our public procurement.

The commitment by the Minister of Labour, Employment and Economic Inclusion, the Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness and the Minister of State for Children and Families to launching this strategy aims to protect vulnerable people from the worst kinds of exploitation in France and the world. Its implementation will be periodically assessed by the stakeholders involved in putting it together and the bodies of Alliance 8.7, whose secretariat is provided by the International Labour Organization in Geneva./.


8. United Nations – G5 Sahel – Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York, 12/11/2021)

=Translation from French=

Mr. President,

I thank the various speakers for their presentations.

The situation in the Sahel continues to be of great concern. We were all able to see this together during this Council’s visit to Mali and Niger. Despite the success of operations in recent months, civilian populations and local forces continue to pay a heavy price in the face of terrorist groups. The November 2 attack near Bani Bangou, Niger, again resulted in the death of dozens of civilians. Resolute action and strong commitment from the international community is more essential than ever.

The creation of the G5 Sahel Joint Force is an essential response by the countries of the region to the threat.

I would first like to recall why France supports the establishment of a United Nations support office for this Force.

The terrorist threat knows no borders. Only cross-border military cooperation, like the Joint Force, can respond to it. The latest operations have reduced the terrorists’ hold and strengthened the bond of trust between the armed forces and the local population. The European Union and its Member States are providing very substantial support to the force in terms of equipment. The European Union also funds the support mechanism implemented by MINUSMA. The African Union authorizes the deployment of the force each year. West African countries contributed 12 million dollars to enable it to conduct Operation SAMA 3 from March to June. This political and financial support is substantial, but it is not enough.

To plan and conduct operations over time, the Joint Force needs predictable and sustainable support. This must be provided by a structure that has the capacity, including financial capacity, to organize a logistical support chain. The United Nations has that capacity. It also has the legitimacy to do so. But this Council must take its responsibilities.

In his letter of last October, the Secretary-General again called for the establishment of a United Nations support office for the Joint Force, funded by assessed contributions. This is also the wish of the African countries that are members of this Council. The Secretary-General has indicated that this structure could be operational within a year. This office would offer solid guarantees in terms of human rights. Its cost would be limited, particularly if it were decided, initially, to concentrate support on cross-border operations conducted by the Force.

Consequently, France once again calls on the members of this Council to support the creation of this office. Those who have reservations about this proposal do not in fact offer any credible alternative. Meanwhile, terrorist groups are gaining ground and the situation is deteriorating. It is therefore time that this Council responds to the urgency.

Support for the Force is only one aspect of the global response we must provide to the challenges in the Sahel.

France, with its partners, will pursue the approach defined at the Pau and N’Djamena summits. This means complementing military efforts with equivalent actions in terms of capacity building, redeployment of the State, development and humanitarian aid. France is restructuring its military presence, but will remain militarily engaged for the benefit of all Sahelian countries that continue to request it. We will continue our consistent support for the development of these countries. In 2020, the French Development Agency committed more than 600 million euros to the Sahel.

To be effective, these actions require the full cooperation of the States concerned. France fully supports ECOWAS’ efforts in Mali, including the decisions of the November 7 Summit. We once again call on the transitional authorities to do everything in their power to organize the elections within the deadline, as they themselves have pledged to do.

Thank you./.


9. United Nations – MINUSCA – Remarks to the press by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations (New York, 12/11/2021)

=Translated from French=

The Security Council renewed today the mandate of MINUSCA. This is an important decision that will enable the mission to support the ceasefire declared on October 15 by President Touadéra. France calls on all actors in the CAR to respect this ceasefire and to commit in good faith to the implementation of the peace agreement.

This resolution also places greater importance on humanitarian access and respect for human rights, as violations have increased alarmingly since the crisis last winter, including by mercenaries. MINUSCA will continue to make the protection of civilians its priority, regardless of who is responsible for the violence.

Finally, this resolution will support the redeployment of the State throughout the country by authorizing the mission to provide more logistical support to Central African forces.

Wagner’s presence in the Central African Republic is deeply destabilizing. It is a factor of war, not a factor of peace. Evidence is mounting of the abuses committed by this group: extrajudicial arrests, extrajudicial executions, sexual and gender-based violence, threats against human rights defenders, obstruction of humanitarian access. All of this is unacceptable and well documented in the report of the panel of experts, in the joint report of MINUSCA and the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, and in the reports of the Secretary-General.

[End of the translated part]

As I just said in French, the resolution adopted by the Security Council is important. It provides a strong support to MINUSCA as the mission has faced numerous and unacceptable attacks over the last months. It provides it with the means to accompany the implementation of the ceasefire announced on 15 October. It also puts a stronger focus on human rights and humanitarian access, as violations increased dramatically over the past months. We call all actors to respect the ceasefire, commit to the implementation of the peace process, and respect their commitment over human rights and international humanitarian law. Thank you very much./.



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