Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, October 3, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius’s visit to Japan (October 4 to 5, 2014)
African Union – Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and Mr. Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union (Paris, October 3, 2014)
Sports diplomacy – Signing of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (October 2, 2014)
Biodiversity – France’s participation in the Conference on Biological Diversity (South Korea, October 6 to 17)
Cultural network update – “Nuits blanches” around the world (October 5, 2014)
Ukraine – Death of an International Committee of the Red Cross delegate (October 2, 2014)

 

Mr. Laurent Fabius’s visit to Japan (October 4 to 5, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will visit Japan from October 4 to 5. On this occasion, he will meet with Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as Mr. Yoshio Mochiduki, Minister of the Environment.

The main goal of the visit is to highlight the richness of French-Japanese cultural relations. During the fourth edition of the “Nuit blanche” event in Kyoto, Mr. Laurent Fabius will inaugurate on October 4 the renovated Villa Kujoyama, a unique French residence for artists in Asia and a symbolic venue for cultural dialogue between France and Japan.

In the run-up to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, Mr. Laurent Fabius will reaffirm our objectives in the fight against climate disruption at the "Science and Technology in Society," forum, in which he will participate together with the Japanese prime minister.

This visit will also provide an opportunity to discuss progress on strengthening our trade, particularly in the high-tech and tourism sectors.

 

African Union – Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and Mr. Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union (Paris, October 3, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius received Mr. Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, this morning.

This meeting provided an opportunity to strengthen the close dialogue between France and the African Union on issues relating to peace and security in Africa, notably in the Sahel-Saharan strip and the Central African Republic. Mr. Fabius and Mr. Chergui reaffirmed their shared commitment to supporting the fight against terrorism on the continent.

The discussions were followed by consultations between France and the African Union which provided an opportunity to review the strengthening of the African Union’s capabilities in the civilian and military fields.

 

Sports diplomacy – Signing of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (October 2, 2014)

Mr. Thierry Braillard, Minister of State for Sport, yesterday signed in Strasburg, on behalf of France, the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions.

France played an active role in drawing up this convention, which will be the first legally binding international instrument to specifically target the rigging of sporting events.

It will make it possible to more effectively prevent and penalize acts of corruption, fraud and illegal betting in sports competitions, and strengthen international cooperation among the various actors in the world of sport (public authorities, sports organizations and sports betting operators).

 

Biodiversity – France’s participation in the Conference on Biological Diversity (South Korea, October 6 to 17)

France will actively participate in the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity which will take place from October 6 to 17, 2014, in Pyongyang (South Korea). Like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, this convention was adopted following the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to conduct a mid-term review of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and to identify the measures that need to be implemented by the international community. Almost 5,000 representatives of governments, local authorities, businesses and NGOs are expected to attend the conference. The French delegation will be led by Mr. Xavier Sticker, Ambassador for the Environment, and will be made up of a large panel of experts.

France’s goal is to promote biodiversity throughout the world and given its experience in North-South cooperation it intends to play an active role in ensuring the success of this conference.

 

Cultural network update – “Nuits blanches” around the world (October 5, 2014)

"Nuit blanche" (all-nighter) events have been spreading across the world since 2003. From Kyoto to Brussels, Bogota to Oran, more than 20 cities will hold a "Nuit blanche" event on October 5 with the support of the French cultural network abroad.

In Kyoto, the "Nuit blanche" 2014 event will highlight French-Japanese exchanges in the applied arts and arts and crafts fields. In Brussels it will pay tribute to 20th century cinema, while in Toronto hundreds of artists will transform the city into a vast contemporary art gallery. In La Paz, the Alliance française will host several visual and sound installations.

More than 30 countries have adopted this event. "Nuit blanche" events take place abroad throughout the year: Bologna on January 26, Montreal on February 21, Lima on May 4 and Tel Aviv on June 27.

 

Ukraine – Death of an International Committee of the Red Cross delegate (October 2, 2014)

We were saddened to learn of the death in Donetsk of an International Committee of the Red Cross delegate during a bombing that resulted in a number of casualties among the civilian population, which is being targeted by unacceptable attacks that are prohibited under international humanitarian law.

France extends its condolences to the victims’ families and expresses its solidarity with the International Committee of the Red Cross. It pays tribute to the courage of the humanitarian workers who provide assistance to civilian populations throughout the world, often risking their lives to do so.

We urge all parties to comply with the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, which is an essential prerequisite for finding a lasting political solution to the crisis.