Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, February 11, 2013)

Mr. Pascal Canfin’s participation in the launch of the International Year of Water Cooperation (Paris, February 11, 2013)
India – Execution of Afzal Guru (February 9, 2013)
India – Death of 36 people at the Kumbh Mela 



Mr. Pascal Canfin’s participation in the launch of the International Year of Water Cooperation (Paris, February 11, 2013)

Mr. Pascal Canfin, Minister Delegate for Development, will today participate, at UNESCO’s headquarters, in the official ceremony to launch the International Year of Water Cooperation.

This ceremony will bring together representatives of intergovernmental organizations as well as scientists and experts from all over the world. The highlights marking the Year will be presented at this time. An exhibition entitled “Water at the heart of science” will also be opened.

Access to water and sanitation poses an enormous challenge. At least 11% of the world’s population, i.e. 783 million people, still don’t have access to drinking water. More than 40% of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. 2.5 billion people still don’t have access to basic sanitation. Moreover, improved management of water resources remains more necessary than ever in order to meet climate and environmental standards and crisis prevention objectives.

In this context, the UN General Assembly declared 2013 the “International Year of Water Cooperation.” It aims to promote cooperation in all its forms, notably with respect to sustainable development, climate change and food security.

France welcomes this decision by the UN General Assembly and UNESCO’s efforts to organize this Year. It will actively participate in it. France, which has played a leading role within the World Health Organization in promoting the adoption of a resolution on water, sanitation and health, remains fully committed to ensuring that access to drinking water and sanitation is recognized as a human right by the UN General Assembly.

 

India – Execution of Afzal Guru (February 9, 2013)

The attack perpetrated on December 13, 2001, against the Indian Parliament, which struck at the heart of Indian democracy, was a terrible ordeal. France affirmed its solidarity with India and stands alongside it in the fight against terrorism, which is a pillar of our strategic partnership.

France, like all of its European partners, is opposed to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances. Together with our partners, we regularly reaffirm this position to the Indian authorities, notably within the framework of the dialogue between the European Union and India on human rights.

It’s with this in mind, that the minister of foreign affairs launched on October 9 a campaign for the universal abolition of the death penalty.

 

India – Death of 36 people at the Kumbh Mela 

We were deeply shocked to learn of the death of 36 people at the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage in Allahabad.

In these tragic circumstances which have plunged India into mourning, France would like to extend its condolences to the bereaved and express its solidarity with the Indian authorities and people.