Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, March 13, 2013)

Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and non-governmental organizations on the arms trade treaty (Paris, March 12, 2013)
Visit to New York by Mr. Pascal Canfin for the launch of the UN Working Group on sustainable development goals (March 14, 2013)
Mali – Accusations leveled by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights against the Malian army
Saudi Arabia – Execution of 7 convicted youths (March 13, 2013)
Holberg Prize awarded to French sociologist Bruno Latour (Oslo, March 13, 2013)

Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and non-governmental organizations on the arms trade treaty (Paris, March 12, 2013)

On March 12, Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with the non-governmental organizations campaigning for an arms trade treaty, ahead of the final round of negotiations on this instrument scheduled to take place in New York from March 18 to 28.

Mr. Fabius reaffirmed France’s attachment to the conclusion of a strong, legally binding treaty between the key players in the arms trade. He reaffirmed to the non-governmental organizations our shared commitment to ensuring that human rights and international humanitarian law are taken into account in the treaty.

The minister presented to the representatives of the non-governmental organizations the main points still under discussion as well as his perception of the dynamics and challenges associated with the negotiation. This dialogue with the NGOs, whose concerns are shared by the French authorities, will continue during the conference in New York.

 

Visit to New York by Mr. Pascal Canfin for the launch of the UN Working Group on sustainable development goals (March 14, 2013)

Mr. Pascal Canfin, Minister Delegate for Development, will travel to New York on March 14 to participate in the meeting to launch the UN Working Group on sustainable development goals. France, represented by Mr. Canfin, shares its seat in this group with Germany and Switzerland.

The sustainable development goals, which were decided upon at the Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), build upon the Millennium Development Goals, which are due to be met in 2015.

The goal is to establish a universal road map for the period 2015-2030 focusing on major objectives: the fight against poverty, food security, the fight against climate change, access to energy and water, and gender equality.

France will notably underscore the need to link the agenda for fighting poverty with the sustainable development agenda.

 

Mali – Accusations leveled by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights against the Malian army

France remains concerned by the human rights situation in Mali, and notably the allegations of abuse made by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Revenge can never be a form of justice. The exacerbation of ethnic tensions is especially troubling. The French forces have been instructed to pay close attention to possible violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that may come to their notice, and to notably report any evidence of abuse. France will, if necessary, bring this to the attention of the Malian authorities, the UN and the International Criminal Court.

We welcome the clear-cut position taken by the Malian authorities with respect to any act of abuse and their commitment to bringing the perpetrators to justice. There can be no impunity for these acts. We welcome the fact that the Malian authorities have concluded a cooperation agreement with the ICC, which has launched an investigation into the war crimes committed in Mali since January 2012.

France will continue to convey a strong and consistent message to the Malian authorities reminding them of these commitments. We support the establishment of the Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission and call on the Malian authorities to do everything possible to allow it to establish inclusive dialogue with the Malian population, with all its diversity.

Since the start of the Malian crisis, France has been working within the Security Council and Human Rights Council to ensure that the international community remains mobilized in the face of the human rights situation in Mali. It renews its appeal to strengthen the human rights monitoring mission provided for by UNSCR 2085.

 

Saudi Arabia – Execution of 7 convicted youths (March 13, 2013)

France condemns the execution of 7 youths today in Saudi Arabia. It reaffirms that the execution of those who were minors at the time of their offences is contrary to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Saudi Arabia has ratified. In addition, the fact that these executions were carried out in public is especially shocking.

Once again, France urges Saudi Arabia to put an end to the executions and to establish a moratorium with a view toward the definitive abolition of the death penalty. It reaffirms its resolute and constant commitment to the universal abolition of the death penalty: this is the thrust of the campaign launched in October by the minister of foreign affairs.

 

Holberg Prize awarded to French sociologist Bruno Latour (Oslo, March 13, 2013)

The Holberg Foundation, which recognizes leading figures in the field of humanities and sociology, has just announced that its 2013 prize will be awarded to Bruno Latour, a sociologist and anthropologist, nine years after this institution awarded its first prize to Ms. Julia Kristeva.

This prize, which was conceived as the “Nobel prize for arts, humanities and social sciences,” is awarded to leading intellectuals, like Ms. Julia Kristeva in 2004 and Mr. Jürgen Habermas in 2005.

Mr. Bruno Latour is being recognized for his contribution to modernizing the field of humanities and his work to improve the understanding of the issues of political legitimacy and legal rights. The award ceremony is scheduled to take place on June 5.