Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris, March 25, 2015)

 

French presidency of the UN Security Council – Holding of a debate on children in armed conflict (New York, March 25, 2015)
Nigeria – Kidnappings in the town of Damasak
Biodiversity – Kasane Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade (Botswana, March 25)
Cultural update – Inauguration of “Singapour en France - le Festival” (March 26 – June 30)


French presidency of the UN Security Council – Holding of a debate on children in armed conflict (New York, March 25, 2015)

France, which holds the presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of March, will host a public debate at the Security Council in New York today on children in armed conflict, in the presence of the UN secretary-general and UNICEF.

The international community must remain fully mobilized in order help these children, while thousands of them are subject to kidnapping, forced recruitment and worse atrocities committed by non-state armed groups in particular, including terrorist organizations such as Daesh and Boko Haram.

On this occasion, France will urge the states that have not yet done so to endorse the Principles and Commitments to protect children from exploitation or unlawful recruitment by armed groups or forces.

 


Nigeria – Kidnappings in the town of Damasak

France utterly condemns the kidnapping by the terrorist group Boko Haram of several hundred women and children in the Nigerian town of Damasak.

We call for their immediate release and assure the families and the Nigerian authorities of our wholehearted solidarity. The perpetrators of these despicable acts must be brought to justice.

Together with its international and African partners, France stands alongside Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin countries involved in the fight against terrorism and supports the regional coordination efforts in that regard.

 


Biodiversity – Kasane Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade (Botswana, March 25)

France is represented at today’s Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade in Kasane, Botswana – the follow-up conference coming one year after the London Declaration on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, adopted by 42 countries. The goal of the Kasane conference is to step up the collective effort against poaching and international trafficking at a time when emblematic species remained threatened with extinction.

France is playing a major role in this effort, in line with the action plan approved at the December 2013 Elysée summit on peace and security in Africa.

The bill to restore biodiversity, nature and landscapes, passed at first reading by the National Assembly on March 24, significantly increases penalties for trafficking. In the same vein, this past January the French authorities stopped issuing export certificates for raw ivory in order to place pressure on the market.

Finally, the French Development Agency will fund specific cooperative projects to combat poaching and illegal trading and to protect wildlife in its natural environment, particularly in Gabon.

 


Cultural update – Inauguration of “Singapour en France - le Festival” (March 26 – June 30)

To mark the 50th anniversary of its establishment of diplomatic ties with Singapore, France is hosting “Singapour en France – le Festival,” organized by the Institut Français, the National Heritage Board, and the National Arts Council of Singapore. This event will run from March 26 to June 30.

The festival will showcase Singapore’s art and culture, and will highlight contemporary works. It will also promote dialogue and cooperation between our two countries through a series of events in the fields of culture, the economy, sports, education, higher education, research, and tourism.

The Palais de Tokyo will officially launch the festival tomorrow with the exhibit “L’Archipel Secret” and a performance titled “Les Singapouriens.” More than 60 events will be held between now and June 30 in Paris and several large cities, including Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Nantes and Toulouse. It will wrap up with the exhibit “1000 Singapours,” opening at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine on June 15.

For additional information visit http://www.singapour-lefestival.com