Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, March 20, 2013)

 

International Day of La Francophonie (March 20, 2013)
Nigeria – Suicide attack in Kano
Iraq – Attacks in Baghdad (March 19, 2013)
WTO – Process of selecting the new director-general – Visit by Ms. Anabel Gonzàlez, Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica (March 19, 2013)

International Day of La Francophonie (March 20, 2013)

The International Day of La Francophonie is being celebrated today as it is every year throughout the world and especially in the 77 member countries of the International Organization of La Francophonie. This date commemorates the signing on March 20, 1970, of the Niamey Convention which resulted in the grouping together of French-speaking states. 

The French language – the language of education and communication but also of development and trade of more than 220 million speakers around the world – is at the heart of these celebrations.

International Day of La Francophonie 2013 will honor French-speaking women at France’s initiative with the support of the International Organization of La Francophonie and in partnership with UNESCO and UN Women. The first World Francophone Women's Forum in Paris today will bring together 400 participants from the civil societies of member states of La Francophonie.

Our diplomatic, cultural and educational network abroad has also mobilized its efforts to demonstrate the diversity of the French-speaking community, the vibrancy of its cultural creativity and to promote the values of La Francophonie: respect for the rule of law and human rights, gender equality, solidarity and cultural diversity.

 

Nigeria – Suicide attack in Kano

France condemns the terrorist attack that took place on March 18 in the city of Kano in Nigeria. This heinous act left more than 40 people dead and several dozen injured.

We extend our condolences to the bereaved.

France reaffirms - as the minister did so during his visit to Abuja on March 16 - its solidarity with Nigeria in its fight against terrorism.

 

Iraq – Attacks in Baghdad (March 19, 2013)

France utterly condemns the bloody attacks perpetrated yesterday in Iraq.

We extend our condolences to the Iraqi people and the families of the victims and express our solidarity with the Iraqi authorities in their fight against terrorism.

In these tragic circumstances, France calls for national unity and harmony and for an end to all forms of violence. It reaffirms the importance of an inclusive political process that will make it possible to establish the rule of law in Iraq.


WTO – Process of selecting the new director-general – Visit by Ms. Anabel Gonzàlez, Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica (March 19, 2013)

On March 19, Mr. Pierre Sellal, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, received Ms. Anabel Gonzàlez, Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica, candidate for the post of director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The secretary general had previously received 4 other candidates to replace Mr. Pascal Lamy: Mr. Roberto Azevedo, Ambassador of Brazil to the WTO, Ms. Mari Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Herminio Blanco, former Minister of Trade of Mexico, and Mr. Tim Groser, New Zealand’s Minister of Trade, Ministerfor Climate Change Issues.

Following the close of nominations on December 31, 9 candidates are in the running to replace Mr. Lamy, who served two consecutive terms at the head of the WTO. The member states must choose the new director-general - who will take office on September 1, 2013 - by May 31.