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

 

World Refugee Day (June 20, 2013)
Attack against the UN in Mogadishu (June 19, 2013)
Nuclear arsenals – United States – Russia

 

World Refugee Day (June 20, 2013)

On the occasion of World Refugee Day, France reaffirms its commitment alongside the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, whose action it actively supports.

Sixty-one years after it was created, this institution is more essential than ever. Its report, published on June 19, underscores that needs are still great, with, at the end of 2012, more than 45 million uprooted people including 15 million refugees; these numbers are constantly rising.

We must not fail to respond to this human suffering. France contributes €15 million every year to actions carried out by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. France, which is traditionally a country where people are welcomed and given asylum, ranks second in Europe in terms of applications for international protection, with 55,255 applications in 2012 (52,147 in 2011). As of December 31, 2012, 176,984 people – including 162,882 refugees – were therefore under the protection of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons.

 

Attack against the UN in Mogadishu (June 19, 2013)

France utterly condemns the attack perpetrated on June 19 in Mogadishu, which, according to the latest reports, killed at least 9 people and injured many others. This heinous attack targeted a building housing UN personnel and agencies providing humanitarian and development assistance to the Somali population.

We extend our condolences to the victims’ families and express our solidarity with the UN personnel as well as the Somali authorities and people.

France pays tribute to the efforts of the Somali security forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia to stop this attack.

It stands alongside the Somali authorities in the fight against terrorism and reaffirms its support for efforts to ensure the security of the population and to ensure the country’s security and reconstruction.

 

Nuclear arsenals – United States – Russia

Could you comment on the recent statements issued by Moscow and Washington on the reduction of nuclear arsenals?

The United States, like Russia, bears a special responsibility for nuclear disarmament, given the size of their arsenals. With several thousand weapons, deployed or kept in reserve, these two arsenals account for 95% of the world’s nuclear weapons.

The reduction of these two arsenals is now a priority, with the launch of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and the entry into force of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. France also welcomes the willingness expressed by President Obama to make progress toward the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

France actively supports nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament, in accordance with the goals of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Our country has taken significant steps, notably the scaling down of its nuclear forces; with a current ceiling of 300 warheads and none held in reserve, our total arsenal has been reduced by half in 10 years, the ground-to-ground component has been completely dismantled and the two other maritime and airborne components have been reduced by 30%.