Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson
(excerpts)

(Paris, March 8, 2007)

[Please note that only the original French text issued by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be considered official.]


ONCOLOGY

The charter for international cooperation in the field of oncology was signed on March 7 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for Health and Solidarity, the president of the National Cancer Institute (INCa ) and each of the institutional actors concerned (Cancer Without Borders, the National League Against Cancer, Physicien Medical sans Frontieres, Alliance mondiale contre le Cancer—AMCC—and the International Union Against Cancer).

The charter sets out the objectives, organization and means of operating of an international oncology cooperation network.

After several centuries dominated by the scourge of major pandemics and transmittable diseases, exposure to new risk factors linked to food, the environment, and individual and collective behavior is contributing to what is called “the epidemiological transition.” This phenomenon, initially seen in the most developed countries, has reached emerging countries and now concerns the majority of populations, including in developing countries. Among the 8.5 million new cases of cancer in the world, nearly 60% concern the emerging countries.

The fight against cancer is a global public health issue and demands a multidisciplinary approach requiring the mobilization of large numbers of professionals in different walks of life. France has in this area a vast array of services offered by statutory bodies, public and private, which serve as an international reference.

Grants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and INCa will make it possible to continue to offer expertise and training in oncology. I’d like to point out that among the actions already being implemented five Palestinian oncologists are currently on a theoretical and practical training course at the oncology center of the southwest (CHU) in Toulouse.

HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

I’d like to remind you that at President Chirac’s initiative France will be hosting an international conference entitled, “Health insurance coverage in developing countries: breaking the vicious cycle between sickness and poverty,” in Paris on March 15 and 16, 2007.

All the proceedings are open to the press.

Nicole Ameline, ambassador at large for social issues and parity in international relations, French government delegate to the ILO executive, and Professor Michel Kazatchkine, ambassador at large in the fight against HIVS/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and transmittable diseases, will outline the issues and objectives at a press conference this Thursday, March 8, at 5 p.m. at the foreign press center (Maison de la Radio).

(…)

KOSOVO

Q - Supposing there’s no new resolution in the Security Council on Kosovo’s independence and knowing that Russia’s implicit veto would discourage certain countries from seeking a vote, would France recognize a unilateral declaration of independence from Kosovo?

As you know, there’s to be a meeting between the parties in Vienna on March 10, to be chaired by Mr. Ahtisaari. After the meeting Mr. Ahtisaari is to make a report to the Security Council.

We consider it necessary for the UN Security Council to make a decision about the future status of Kosovo and we are convinced that all its members share this point of view.

So we’re not facing the scenario you describe.

Q - Would any recognition by France be blocked by the fact that the old resolution, 1244, is still in effect and according to it Kosovo remains a part of the sovereign territory of Yugoslavia?

I refer you to my previous answer./.

Embassy of France, March 8, 2007