Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris, February 13, 2015)

Tourism – Foreign trade – Promotion of French gastronomy (Israel, February 15 to 20, 2015)
Consular affairs – Simplification of procedures – Signing by France of a convention on improving multilingual extracts from civil status records (Berne, February 12, 2015)
Croatia – Visit by Mr. Harlem Désir (Zagreb, February 15, 2015)
Development – France launches European Year for Development
Fiji – Permanent abolition of the death penalty
Syria – Shelling in East Ghouta

Tourism – Foreign trade – Promotion of French gastronomy (Israel, February 15 to 20, 2015)

The Embassy of France in Israel will host, for the third year, French Gastronomy Week from February 15 to 20, with the support of Business France.

During this event, top chefs will prepare their specialties, while French regional products will be showcased in Israel.

French gastronomy will be highlighted around the world on March 19 as part of the “Goût de France/Good France” operation.

For more information, please visit: http://int.rendezvousenfrance.com/fr/gout-france-good-france


Consular affairs – Simplification of procedures – Signing by France of a convention on improving multilingual extracts from civil status records (Berne, February 12, 2015)

France, which is a party to the International Commission on Civil Status together with 15 other states, signed the International Convention on the issuing of multilingual and coded extracts and certificates from civil status records on February 12.

This convention aims to address the consequences of our societies’ underlying trends, including the increased mobility of individuals. It will notably benefit individuals required to provide a civil status record from a foreign country where a civil status event relating to them has taken place (birth, marriage, etc.).

It will simplify procedures for foreign jurisdictions and for recipient public officials. It will also make it easier to provide evidence of a personal or family event, such as the recognition of a child or a marriage. While these procedures may incur charges (translation, legalization or apostille certification), the coding of entries and the exemption from legalization will help those concerned avoid additional costs.

This convention will finally give extracts issued abroad the same evidentiary value, pursuant to the domestic law of each state, as the extracts that they issue themselves. If there are any serious doubts, the authorities receiving the extract will be able to request verification from the issuing states.


Croatia – Visit by Mr. Harlem Désir (Zagreb, February 15, 2015)

Mr. Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will represent France on February 15 at the inauguration of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who was elected on January 11 for a term of 5 years.

On this occasion, Mr. Désir will meet with the president as well as with Ms. Vesna Pusic, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Désir and his interlocutors will work on strengthening bilateral relations, a few months ahead of the opening of the French festival in Croatia entitled “Rendez-vous,” which will provide an opportunity to highlight the creativity of the French cultural scene and our country’s economic advantages. They will also take stock of the situation in the Western Balkans.


Development – France launches European Year for Development

Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, is chairing today’s meeting of the National Council for Development and International Solidarity. This body brings together all political, associative, academic and economic actors in the development sector to determine the guidelines of our international solidarity policy.
This year’s European Year for Development is being launched in France, in the presence of Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs. Sustainable development goals and a new framework for financing development will be defined in the months ahead.

This very important year for development will wrap up with the Paris Climate 2015 conference.


Fiji – Permanent abolition of the death penalty

France welcomes the vote by Fiji’s Parliament on February 10 abolishing the final provisions in the country’s legislation pertaining to the death penalty.
After abolishing the death penalty for common crimes in 1979, Fiji becomes the 101th nation to abolish it completely.

France reiterates its resolute and steadfast opposition to the death penalty worldwide and in all circumstances, and encourages all countries to move forward on the road to abolition.


Syria – Shelling in East Ghouta

France condemns the Syrian air force’s intense shelling of East Ghouta, in the Damascus suburbs. Nothing can justify these raids, which have already left nearly 200 dead and more than 1,000 injured, most civilians. Hospital centers have also been destroyed. For more than two years, East Ghouta has been besieged by the regime, which prevents access to humanitarian relief and continues to shell civilians on a massive scale.
These barbarous acts by the Assad regime violate the most elementary principles of international humanitarian law. They could be construed as war crimes. Those responsible must be brought to justice.

France stresses the urgent need to work toward a political solution in Syria by implementing the Geneva communiqué, the only way to bring an end to the conflict.