Daily Press Briefing
Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson
(Paris, February 5, 2007)
[Please note that only the original French text issued by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be considered official.]
I draw your attention to the joint communiqué issued by Philippe Douste-Blazy, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Nelly Olin, Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development, on Saturday, February 3:
"The Paris Conference 'Citizens of the earth: for global environmental governance', held from February 2 to 3, 2007, identified a common determination to entrust the United Nations with a central role on environmental matters and, with this end in view, to take action in the framework of the reform of the United Nations.
“Consequently, a "group of friends of the UNEO" is being created to support:
a) mobilization in favor of strengthening and transforming the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) into a United Nations Environment Organization – a UNEO – in the framework of the reform of the United Nations;
b) the consultation process of the United Nations General Assembly on strengthening international environmental governance (IEG) and actively contribute to it;
c) the promotion of this project in all relevant international and regional forums, in cooperation with all the players involved: government representatives, scientists, academics, members of civil society and the private sector.
“The first meeting of the Group of Friends of the UNEO will take place in Morocco in the spring."
We welcome Martti Ahtisaari’s presentation, in Belgrade and Pristina on February 2, of his “draft comprehensive proposal for a Kosovo status settlement.” His proposals, inspired by the negotiations in 2006 and suggestions from the Contact Group, present a balanced solution, reconciling the aspirations of the vast majority of the population of Kosovo and serious guarantees to minorities, specifically the Serb community, to be able to live there in peace and security. Implementation of the status will be guaranteed by a significant international civil and military presence in which France intends to take its full part.
We call on the two parties to study closely the special envoy’s comprehensive plan. We strongly encourage Belgrade and Pristina to participate actively and demonstrate openness and flexibility in the consultations that Mr. Ahtisaari intends to hold in the next few weeks on the basis of his proposals.
It would be wholly regrettable not to take the opportunity being presented to them to put forward their positions and seek a compromise. In particular we call on the Serb authorities to do what is necessary so as to be able to take part in the consultations that are due to open in Vienna on February 13. We hope that the Serb authorities will heed this call.
In the wake of the attack in Baghdad on February 3 which killed over 130 people and injured hundreds, and the subsequent attacks since then, France expresses its horror and very strong condemnation. It offers its sincerest condolences to the victims’ families and friends, and to the Iraqi authorities. It assures them of its deepest compassion.
Violence is leading to nothing. Only a political path, taking into account all of the communities, will enable peace and stability to be restored.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
We note with satisfaction that a peace agreement between the government of the Central African Republic and the FDPC (Democratic Front for the Central African People) and UFDR ( Union of Democratic Forces for Unity) rebel movements has been reached in Tripoli.
This is a first, positive step towards global reconciliation in which all the political actors in the Central African Republic must be involved, especially the legal opposition.
Embassy of France, February 5, 2007