Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris, December 12, 2014)

European Union – Mr. Laurent Fabius’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels, December 15, 2014)
Nigeria – Attacks against the cities of Gajigana and Jos (December 10 to 11, 2014)
Azerbaijan – Arrest of journalist Khadija Ismayilova (December 5, 2014)
Fight against Ebola – France’s mobilization – Update
Attractiveness – Launch of the 2015 “Hello Tomorrow Challenge” (Paris, December 15, 2014)


European Union – Mr. Laurent Fabius’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels, December 15, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will participate in the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on December 15. The work will focus on the following main points:

- Syria and Iraq: The ministers will take stock of the fight against Daesh. They will discuss the various international initiatives on Syria, including those of Mr. Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General. They will reaffirm their support for the Iraqi government as well as the Kurdish Regional Government;

- Ukraine: The ministers will exchange views on the implementation of the ceasefire which entered into force on December 9 and will discuss EU assistance for Ukraine;

- Ebola: Mr. Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and EU Ebola Coordinator, will take stock of the situation in West Africa. The discussions will focus on rebuilding the health systems of the affected countries and on the pool of medical experts who could be mobilized to deal with health crises;

- Central African Republic: The ministers will discuss the deployment of the proposed EU mission to provide advice to the Central African Republic’s armed forces;

- Bosnia and Herzegovina: The member states will review the situation and relations with the EU following Ms. Mogherini’s visit to Sarajevo on December 5.


Nigeria – Attacks against the cities of Gajigana and Jos (December 10 to 11, 2014)

France condemns the attacks carried out on December 10 in Gajigana and on December 11 in Jos which resulted in many casualties.

We express our condolences to the victims’ families as well as the Nigerian authorities. The perpetrators of these crimes must be held accountable.

France, together with its African and international partners, stands alongside Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.


Azerbaijan – Arrest of journalist Khadija Ismayilova (December 5, 2014)

France expresses its concern following the arrest on December 5 in Baku of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova for “incitement to suicide.” President Hollande met with her during his visit to Azerbaijan in May.

France calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to uphold the commitments made by Azerbaijan as a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe, notably by ensuring respect for the freedom of the press, the independence of the judiciary, the rights of defense and the presumption of innocence.

We will continue to closely monitor Ms. Ismayilova’s situation.


Fight against Ebola – France’s mobilization – Update

As President Hollande reaffirmed on November 28 in Conakry, France is fully engaged in the fight against the epidemic, alongside its international partners. It’s on the front line in Guinea where it’s focusing most of its action and funding: more than €110 million in 2014 and 2015 in bilateral and multilateral contributions.

Our action plan has four components:

- support for Guinea: Four treatment centers will be operational by the end of the year, including three in Guinea’s forest region, as well as two centers to train local and international healthcare professionals, in France and in Guinea. We commend the admirable commitment of these professionals, including our 155 compatriots mobilized so far in Guinea;

- the strengthening of capacity to combat Ebola in the region, notably in Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon and in Liberia;

- multilateral action: France is participating in the European mechanism to provide treatment to international humanitarian staff and supports the creation of a pool of medical experts who could be mobilized to deal with health crises;

- medical research: France and its research institutes are actively contributing to the fight against Ebola in West Africa as well to the training of African researchers. Three laboratories have been deployed on the ground.

For more information please visit: www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/sante-securite-alimentaire/lutte-contre-l-epidemie-ebola/article/infographie-l-action-de-la-france


Attractiveness – Launch of the 2015 “Hello Tomorrow Challenge” (Paris, December 15, 2014)

The “Hello Tomorrow” association, founded by researcher Xavier Duportet, winner of the Innovation 2030 Worldwide Challenge in 2014, will launch the second edition of the “Hello Tomorrow Challenge” at the Institut Pasteur on December 15.

This international start-up competition aims to promote projects based on scientific and technological innovations with high potential. The competition is open to French and foreign researchers and entrepreneurs under 36 who are working on interdisciplinary projects. It reflects the mobilization in France in support of creativity and entrepreneurship.

The 30 start-up semi-finalists will benefit, from February to June 2015, from support from experts, access to funding and international media visibility. They will present their projects at the final which will take place on June 25 and 26, 2015, at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Paris. Several prizes will be awarded, including funding of €100,000.

In order to encourage the best candidates, the initiative is being promoted internationally through networks in major universities and research laboratories. Around 40 events will be organized to that end by the association’s “ambassadors” in 50 countries in 5 continents, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

For more information please visit: www.hello-tomorrow.org