The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development
Spokesperson


Paris - November 20, 2015
In this issue:

◢  Human Rights – Seminar on the fight against forced marriages chaired by Matthias Fekl and Pascale Boistard (Paris - November 20, 2015)

◢  Law of the Sea – Meeting between Annick Girardin and Michel Aymeric, Secretary General for the Sea (Paris - November 20, 2015)

◢  United Nations – Election of Filippo Grandi as High Commissioner for Refugees (November 18, 2015)

◢  United Nations / Human Rights – Universal Children's Day (November 20, 2015)

◢  Israel / Palestinian Territories – Attacks (November 19, 2015)

◢  Bosnia-Herzegovina – Terrorist attack near Sarajevo (November 18, 2015)

◢  Tourism – Board of Directors meeting of Atout France, attended by Laurent Fabius (Paris - November 19, 2015)

 
Human Rights – Seminar on the fight against forced marriages chaired by Matthias Fekl and Pascale Boistard (Paris - November 20, 2015)

On the occasion of Universal Children's Day, Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, and Pascale Boistard, Minister of State for Women’s Rights, chaired an event today at the Quai d’Orsay devoted to the fight against forced marriages.

This seminar reflects the government’s determination to combat forced marriages, alongside our partners working on the ground. Once again this year, these human rights violations continue to affect one out of every four young girls around the world. A total of 700 million women around the world have been forced into child marriage.

Forced marriage abroad has been a crime since August 5, 2013, punishable by imprisonment (3 years) and a fine of €45,000. A national campaign - #StopMariageforcé – was launched and an alert system was introduced within our diplomatic and consular network.



Law of the Sea – Meeting between Annick Girardin and Michel Aymeric, Secretary General for the Sea (Paris - November 20, 2015)

Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, will meet today with Michel Aymeric, Secretary General for the Sea.

A month after the meeting of the Interministerial Committee for the Sea, which set out new guidelines for our maritime policy, they will take stock of our policy to extend France’s continental shelf and the prospects for changing the Law of the Sea to cover marine biodiversity. Our country has the world's second largest maritime area.

They will also work on preparations for the one-day event devoted to ocean management during the Paris Climate Conference.



United Nations – Election of Filippo Grandi as High Commissioner for Refugees (November 18, 2015)

France welcomes the election by the UN General Assembly, at the proposal of the secretary-general, of Filippo Grandi as High Commissioner for Refugees, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Filippo Grandi will be able to bring his experience of humanitarian issues, the United Nations and the Middle East to the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in order to take action in support of victims on all continents, in accordance with the 1951 mandate to protect. With almost 60 million displaced persons around the world, mainly as a result of conflict and violence, we are facing an unprecedented crisis.

We pay tribute to the remarkable efforts of his predecessor Antonio Guterres, who demonstrated his unwavering commitment for more than ten years.

France intends to continue its close collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees and assures it of its support.



United Nations / Human Rights – Universal Children's Day (November 20, 2015)

France reaffirms its attachment to the promotion and universal protection of children's rights on the occasion of Universal Children's Day and the 15th anniversary of the two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, relating to the involvement of children in armed conflict as well as the sale of children, the prostitution of children and child pornography.

France is more mobilized than ever in support of the protection of children in armed conflict, universal access to education, as well as the fight against violence and maternal and infant mortality. This is a key objective in terms of implementing the sustainable development goals.

Parliament has just authorized the ratification of the third Optional Protocol to the Convention, signed by France in 2014, which enables individuals to submit complaints regarding violations they feel they have suffered to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. The ratification of this protocol by France would represent a major step forward in the efforts to protect children’s rights.



Israel / Palestinian Territories – Attacks (November 19, 2015)

France condemns the attacks on November 19 in Tel Aviv and the West Bank, which left five dead and several injured.

France offers its condolences to the victims’ families and assures them of its solidarity.



Bosnia-Herzegovina – Terrorist attack near Sarajevo (November 18, 2015)

France condemns the terrorist attack on November 18 near Sarajevo, which took the lives of two Bosnian servicemen and injured several people.

We offer our condolences to the victims’ loved ones.

France assures the people and authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina of its solidarity.



Tourism – Board of Directors meeting of Atout France, attended by Laurent Fabius (Paris - November 19, 2015)

The Board of Directors of Atout France unanimously elected Philippe Faure as its new president on November 19. Philippe Faure is well known for his experience in the field of tourism. Up until now, he was deputy chairman of the Tourism Promotion Council established by Laurent Fabius.

During this Board of Directors meeting, Mr. Fabius underscored the importance of stressing that France remains a travel destination with unique assets.

Atout France will make it a priority to boost the country’s attractiveness to tourists, motivate them to stay longer, discover the entire country and spend more. The organization will be strengthened and updated; this will be the case in particular for its digital strategy, which incorporates a new website, www.france.fr.


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