Press briefing given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman (excerpts)(Paris, January 21, 2013)

Visit by M. Laurent Fabius, M. Bernard Cazeneuve, M. Pascal Canfin and Mme Hélène Conway-Mouret to Germany to mark the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty (22 January 2013)
United Nations Human Rights Council’s "Universal Periodic Review" of France (Geneva, 21 January 2013)
Somalia - Murder of a journalist

 

Visit by M. Laurent Fabius, M. Bernard Cazeneuve, M. Pascal Canfin and Mme Hélène Conway-Mouret to Germany to mark the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty (22 January 2013)

M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, M. Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister Delegate for European Affairs, M. Pascal Canfin, Minister Delegate for Development, and Mme Hélène Conway-Mouret, Minister Delegate for French Nationals Abroad, will visit Berlin on 22 January 2013 to take part in the celebrations organized to mark the 50th anniversary of the signature of the Elysée Treaty.  The 40th anniversary of this founding treaty of Franco-German reconciliation and friendship, signed in Paris on 22 January 1963 by General de Gaulle and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, was celebrated in Versailles in 2003.

The ministers will have meetings with their respective German counterparts about the future of the exceptional cooperation that has developed between our two countries on the basis of the Elysée Treaty.  They will also discuss the major international news issues, particularly the situation in Mali and the crisis in Syria, as well as the European agenda.

The Foreign and Defence Ministers will also take part in a meeting of the Franco-German Defence and Security Council, an institution created on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty and whose work will focus essentially on the situation in Mali and the future of the Common Security and Defence Policy.

The ministers will then take part in a plenary meeting of the Franco-German Council of Ministers, to be jointly chaired by President François Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel.  At the meeting a declaration will be adopted underlining, 50 years after the signature of the Elysée Treaty, the Franco-German partnership’s relevance, dynamism and contribution to the European enterprise and defining the major themes of our joint action over the coming years.

The ministers will then attend a plenary session of the French and German Parliaments in the Bundestag, as well as a concert at the Berliner Philharmonie in the presence of the German President.  Mme Conway-Mouret will also represent France at the celebrations organized in Bavaria on 23 January, in the presence of the Minister-President, Mr Horst Seehofer.

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United Nations Human Rights Council’s "Universal Periodic Review" of France (Geneva, 21 January 2013)

Today, 21 January, in Geneva, France is complying with the “Universal Periodic Review” exercise for the second time.

Introduced in 2008, the "Universal Periodic Review" is an innovative procedure whereby once every four years each United Nations member state publicly presents the human rights situation in its territory and the measures taken relating to it.  It is questioned by all the other member states.

France actively promotes this unique mechanism.  Indeed, she was one of the first countries to comply with it.  She is represented in Geneva today by an interministerial delegation headed by M. François Zimeray, Ambassador for Human Rights.

Live and pre-recorded broadcasts of all the meetings of the Universal Periodic Review can be followed on the United Nations website:  webtv.un.org/

Somalia - Murder of a journalist

France utterly condemns the murder of Mr Abdihared Osman, a Somali journalist at Radio Shabelle, on 18 January 2013 in Mogadishu, and extends her sincere condolences to his family and friends.

In these distressing circumstances, France calls for this crime to be fully investigated and its perpetrators to be identified and tried.  In 2012, 18 journalists lost their lives in Somalia because of their commitment to freedom of expression and information.  Radio Shabelle had already had a heavy toll exacted on it with the murder of several of its staff, including its manager.

At a time when many challenges await the new Somali authorities in working towards the consolidation of the state, we ask them to do everything in their power to ensure that these journalists can go on doing their job without risking their lives for it.

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