Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, May 12, 2014)

United States – Mr. Laurent Fabius’s visit to Chicago (May 12, 2014)
Central African Republic - Adoption of sanctions (May 9, 2014)
Disarmament – Meeting on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems in Geneva (May 13 to 16, 2014)

United States – Mr. Laurent Fabius’s visit to Chicago (May 12, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, is today in Chicago, the United States’ third largest city, to promote the economic attractiveness of France and exchanges in the areas of trade, culture and tourism.

Mr. Laurent Fabius will notably attend a demonstration of Valeo’s smartphone-controlled parking assistance system and will meet with representatives from the French and American business community.

This visit falls within the framework of the first edition of French Innovation Week, organized by the Consulate General of France in Chicago in partnership with the French-American Chamber of Commerce and featuring various events highlighting in particular:

- French design and gastronomic expertise, with stands at the “French Market,” the largest covered market in the American Midwest;

- innovation, with a presentation on “groundbreaking technology in the automotive industry”;

- the quality of education and scientific research, on the occasion of the “French-American Science Festival,” featuring high-level conferences on climate change and the Higgs boson, as well as a Science Day for young people from schools throughout the city;

- the cultural and tourism appeal of France, for which the Chicago Art Institute is an excellent showcase.

Central African Republic - Adoption of sanctions (May 9, 2014)

France welcomes the adoption on May 9, by the Security Council's Central African Republic Sanctions Committee, of sanctions against François Bozizé, Noureddine Adam and Levy Yakete.

These sanctions, proposed by France and the United States, impose an assets freeze and a travel ban against these individuals who have jeopardized peace, stability and security in the Central African Republic and impeded the political transition process. The sanctions send a strong message to them, and their supporters, that they must stop these actions.

France reaffirms that the establishment of sanctions is in addition to the legal proceedings against the perpetrators of human rights violations. All perpetrators of atrocities must be held accountable for their actions – where appropriate, before the International Criminal Court, which launched a preliminary examination on February 7. The fight against impunity is a key part of the reconciliation process.


Disarmament – Meeting on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems in Geneva (May 13 to 16, 2014)

As part of its continuous efforts to promote disarmament, France will chair, in Geneva from May 13 to 16, the Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems, also known as “killer robots.”

This meeting is aimed at understanding the ethical, legal and operational issues raised by the development of new weapons technologies. The current ability of international law to regulate the potential use of these weapons systems, which are not yet in operation, is central to these issues.

The meeting will be open not just to experts and representatives of states, but also to those from NGOs, who will be able to express their views at the meeting.

It was France that took the initiative last year to propose initiating a debate on this issue within the framework of the meetings of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, a key disarmament instrument that takes into account defense requirements as well as humanitarian concerns.