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Official speeches and statements - September 28, 2016

Published on September 28, 2016

1. Israel - Death of Shimon Peres - Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic (Paris - September 28, 2016)

With the passing of Shimon Peres, Israel loses one of its most illustrious statesmen, peace one of its most ardent defenders and France a loyal friend.

Shimon Peres is now part of the history which accompanied his long life.

He had a profound impact on the political life of Israel, in whose foundation he was actively involved alongside David Ben-Gurion. A member of many governments, several times Prime Minister and finally President from 2007 to 2014, Shimon Peres was Israel in the eyes of the world.

A man of peace, he received the Nobel Prize in 1994 alongside Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat just after the Oslo Accords, whose rationale he continually upheld, seeing the advent of a Palestinian state as the only guarantee of Israel having a future in a climate of security.

A visionary, he impressed those he met with his ability to propose bold initiatives and new ideas in order to move towards this ideal. He believed in sharing resources and technology and opening up communication routes to bring people closer together. I saw for myself during our last meeting on 25 March that his strength of conviction was undiminished.

On this sad day I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the Israeli people and my condolences to his family.

2. Israel - Death of Shimon Peres - Statement by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (Paris - September 28, 2016)

I was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Shimon Peres. I extend my condolences to his family, his close friends and the whole Israeli people.

Shimon Peres was one of the last representatives of Israel’s founding fathers. Throughout his political career, in which he held the most senior positions, he managed to embody an ideal: that of a State of Israel living in peace with its neighbours. The Nobel Prize he received in 1994 crowned the untiring efforts this statesman made—despite the difficulties—always to reaffirm the need for his country to give peace a chance.

Shimon Peres left his mark on history. His legacy is this culture of peace, this vision he upheld with unshakeable passion, which—today more than ever—remains an essential ideal for Israel and the whole region. May his example inspire those, in Israel and elsewhere, who have chosen to follow the path he marked out.

3. Guinea - Climate - COP21 - Meeting between M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, and Mr Alpha Conde, President of Guinea - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris - September 27, 2016)

The French President had a meeting with Alpha Conde, President of Guinea and Coordinator of the African Renewable Energy Initiative.

François Hollande confirmed France’s support for this initiative and said that in 2016 France spent 50% more than what was pledged during COP21 in Le Bourget for renewable energy. Sixteen production projects have thus already been approved, accounting for euro631 million of investment and 738 megawatts of electrical power to be installed. An additional 21 projects all over the African continent are also in the pipeline.

The Head of State confirmed France’s intention to implement even more swiftly the commitments for the end of the period 2016-2020. He also emphasized the European Union’s determination, with the External Investment Plan, to support the development of clean energy in Africa.

Ever more widespread access to electricity on that continent will allow us to not only improve living conditions from a social and health point of view but also promote the development of businesses and the creation of jobs for young people.

4. Ghana - Meeting between M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, and Mr John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris - September 27, 2016)

The French President had a meeting with John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana.

The Head of State welcomed the development of economic relations between France and Ghana, in sectors such as energy, urban development, agrifood, telecommunications and transport.

François Hollande thanked Ghana for recently ratifying the Paris climate agreement and reiterated France’s commitment to increasing French and European funding for renewable energy on the African continent.

Finally, the French President paid tribute to the vitality of Ghanaian democracy and the soundness of its institutions.

5. Climate - Paris Agreement - Renewable energy in Africa - Speech by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic - excerpts (New York - September 20, 2016)

We wanted, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, to organize this meeting about renewable energy in Africa, because it’s [part of] the implementation of the Paris Agreement. As I said at the Assembly rostrum, it’s now a matter of urgency to implement what we decided in Paris, which means ratifying it—and I know you’re very mindful of this in each of your countries—so that at the end of the year we can have the ratification instruments: 55 countries representing 55% of emissions. But in Marrakesh—and I pay tribute here to the Moroccan Foreign Minister—I want us to be in a position to say: there you are, the agreement is already being implemented and we can launch initiatives.

It’s very interesting to note that we haven’t waited until COP22 before taking action and presenting projects. The COP President, Ségolène Royal, has committed herself to visiting a large number of countries, and I can confirm that we hardly ever see her any more in Paris: she’s traveling all over Africa. I think she’s visited no fewer than 17 countries; we’ve made sure—and I thank all those who have contributed to this: Jean-Louis Borloo and the President of the ADB [African Development Bank]—that we can prepare all the possible projects that could start as quickly as possible. We can also assess the financial commitments.

The donors have contributed $10 billion, France has committed around euro2 billion, and I pay tribute to President Sisi, because he’s co-chairing this event with France. We’ve managed to release European funds, and I think we can now launch a lot of investment. This is especially necessary because in the space of a year, only a year, renewable energy prices have fallen considerably. Technical solutions have also been widely disseminated, and innovation has managed to make possible what was hitherto not regarded as profitable enough, or accessible enough over a reasonable period. For example, I note there are solar power plants in Senegal, Mali, Egypt and Zambia, and significant projects in Ethiopia, Namibia and Kenya. (...) In Cameroon, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, we have loads of experience we can share.

Forty projects are already being financed entirely or partially by the French Development Agency, and we have reason to believe they can be implemented very rapidly: I’m thinking of a wind farm in Kenya, a solar farm in Senegal and the hydroelectric dam in Cameroon. We’re also making progress—in addition to the projects, in addition to the finance—on the governance of the initiative, and this was also a very important point. Who is going to implement what we’ve decided? A board is being established at heads-of-state level, a technical committee, and the implementation unit is the African Development Bank, under the authority of Mr Adesina, its President.

I congratulate Alpha Conde—because he got all these projects deployed in the name of the African Union while it was under his responsibility—and Mrs Zuma for the African Union Commission, and so we can announce that solutions really will be proposed at COP22 in Marrakesh. And in order to make the COP concrete and practical, I’m asking Ségolène Royal to be in a position to show the conclusions of her report already, because her report now gives us an extremely clear idea of what the renewable energy plan for Africa is.

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