The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Paris - April 14, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Cyprus ⁄ United Nations – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Espen Barth Eide (Paris - April 15, 2016)

◢  Libya – Visit by the ambassador of France to Libya (April 14, 2016)

◢  Nigeria – Chibok schoolgirls (April 14)

◢  French official development assistance in 2015 – For information (April 13, 2016)

Cyprus ⁄ United Nations – Meeting between Jean-Marc Ayrault and Espen Barth Eide (Paris - April 15, 2016)

Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will receive Espen Barth Eide, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus, on April 15, 2016.

They will jointly review the inter-Cypriot negotiations.

Jean-Marc Ayrault, who received his Cypriot counterpart, Ioannis Kasoulides, on April 8, 2016, will reaffirm to Espen Barth Eide France’s support for the process to reunify the island and the good offices mission that he is leading.

Libya – Visit by the ambassador of France to Libya (April 14, 2016)

At the request of Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Antoine Sivan, Ambassador of France to Libya, will visit Tripoli today with some of his counterparts as part of a UN initiative. The ambassador will meet with members of the Presidential Council, as well as with the heads of Libyan public institutions.

As Jean-Marc Ayrault indicated to Fayez Serraj, Prime Minister of Libya, on April 7, 2016, this visit reflects our determination to stand alongside the national unity government in Tripoli.

The political process backed by the UN in Libya is moving forward, notably since the arrival of Fayez Serraj and the Presidential Council in Tripoli. This government must exert control over all Libyan public services and financial institutions in order to respond to the numerous expectations of the Libyan people. It can count on France’s support in order to address the challenges facing Libya, notably the strengthening of national unity and the fight against the terrorist threat.

What is the purpose of the joint visit by the French, Spanish and British ambassadors to Tripoli today? When is Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault planning to visit Libya? When will the embassy reopen?

The reopening of our embassy in Tripoli is under consideration. We would like this plan to be put swiftly into practice, while taking the security situation in Libya into consideration.

With respect to our ambassador, please refer to the statement I made today.

Nigeria – Chibok schoolgirls (April 14)

Two years ago, more than 200 young schoolgirls were kidnapped in Chibok by the terrorist organization Boko Haram. We have not forgotten these young girls who were targeted while they were at school. Our thoughts are with them and their families.

We condemn Boko Haram’s barbaric attacks, notably those carried out against schoolchildren, as well as the use of young women and children to commit attacks. The perpetrators of these acts must be brought to justice. We encourage the Nigerian authorities to provide all the necessary support to those released by Boko Haram, in order to help them to reintegrate into their communities.

France, which, following this kidnapping, brought together in Paris the heads of state of the countries surrounding Lake Chad in order to help coordinate their efforts, remains committed alongside Nigeria and its neighbors to combating Boko Haram. We support the efforts to combat terrorism and to find those who have been abducted, especially the young girls from Chibok. We will continue to lend our support to Nigeria and to the countries of the region in the fight against Boko Haram.

French official development assistance in 2015 – For information (April 13, 2016)

The spokesperson also reiterated the joint statement issued yesterday by the minister of foreign affairs and international development, the minister of finance and public accounts and the minister of state for development and francophonie.

The OECD Development Assistance Committee has just published the preliminary figures for official development assistance (ODA) for 2015.

French ODA stands at €8.3 billion, representing 0.37% of Gross National Income (GNI), compared with €8 billion in 2014.

France is one of the world’s largest contributors. According to the preliminary estimates reported to the OECD, France is the world’s 5th largest contributor of ODA by volume, behind the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan.

France is increasing its effort with respect to the poorest countries. The proportion of its bilateral aid to the least developed countries (LDCs) accounts for nearly 22%, up 3 points compared with 2014.

After doing its part at the most important international meetings on sustainable development in 2015 (the Addis Ababa Conference, Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement), France is resolutely implementing its commitments and stepping up its effort in the fight against poverty. Between 2013 and 2015, ODA helped educate 2.6 million children at the elementary and middle-school levels, provide 3.8 million people with access to reliable sources of drinkable water, and support the development of 150,000 small businesses.

With the implementation of the commitments agreed to in 2015 by President Hollande during the UN General Assembly, France will increase its official financing by 4 billion euros in the form of ODA loans for sustainable development by 2020; half of this will support the fight against climate change. At the same time, France will increase its donations by some 400 million euros by 2020.

This financial trajectory must help return France to its objective of contributing 0.7% of GDP by 2030.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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