The Daily Press Briefing

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


Paris - July 11, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Trade – Matthias Fekl's participation in the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting (Shanghai - July 10, 2016)

◢  Tourism – Matthias Fekl's participation in a "5+5" meeting (Casablanca - July 11, 2016)

◢  Ukraine – Violations of the ceasefire

◢  Cambodia – Murder of Kem Ley (July 11, 2016)

◢  South Sudan – Fighting in Juba

◢  United Nations / Human Rights Council – Closing of the 32nd session (Geneva - July 8, 2016)

 
Trade – Matthias Fekl's participation in the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting (Shanghai - July 10, 2016)

Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, took part, on July 8, 9 and 10, in the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting in Shanghai, under Chinese presidency.

The French government welcomes the adoption by the G20 of an ambitious ministerial statement, accompanied, for the first time, by a trade and investment strategy as well as investment guidelines.

The statement notably underscores the need to address the issue of overcapacity at the global level, which poses a threat to several productive sectors. This is fully consistent with France's position on defending European industry.

The G20 Trade Ministers Meeting also provided an opportunity to make a commitment to concluding the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) in 2016. By reducing the customs duty on goods that help lower CO2 emissions and protect the environment, the EGA is the first step toward ensuring coherence between trade and environmental policies, as recommended by France.

Lastly, the minister of state presented and endorsed the investment court system model for the first time in a multilateral forum. France has played an active role in developing an investment court system model that moves away from private arbitration. The investment court system proposed by Europe in each of its trade agreements, which has been adopted by the Commission and approved by several international partners including Canada, is expected to eventually become a multilateral investment court system.



Tourism – Matthias Fekl's participation in a "5+5" meeting (Casablanca - July 11, 2016)

Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, took part in a meeting in the "5+5" format devoted to tourism today in Casablanca.

The 5+5 Dialogue, which is currently co-chaired by France and Morocco, is an informal forum for political dialogue and cooperation between 10 countries in the Western Mediterranean basin: Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia on the southern shore and Spain, France, Italy, Malta and Portugal on the northern shore.

This meeting will focus on the theme of "Tourism and climate change." Sustainable tourism is a constant priority for us.

Matthias Fekl recently established an "ecotourism" center of excellence in order to promote ecotourism among all French public and private stakeholders.



Ukraine – Violations of the ceasefire

France is concerned at the increased violations of the ceasefire over the last few days. They have reportedly resulted in the death of three Ukrainian soldiers and injured almost 20 people.

We call on the parties to comply with the ceasefire and to complete the withdrawal of heavy weapons, as they have pledged to do so on numerous occasions.

The situation in eastern Ukraine can only be stabilized through the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.



Cambodia – Murder of Kem Ley (July 11, 2016)

We were shocked to learn of the murder of Kem Ley, a political commentator.

France extends its condolences to his family and friends and calls for full light to be shed on the circumstances behind his death.



South Sudan – Fighting in Juba

France is deeply concerned about the intense fighting that has been taking place since July 8 in the capital of South Sudan, which has left scores of people dead and displaced thousands of civilians. We extend our condolences to the victims' families.

France condemns this violence, especially the violence targeted against the UN and the civilian protection sites. The resumption of fighting, mainly between President Salva Kiir's forces and those of Vice President Riek Machar, is unacceptable. It poses a threat to the implementation of the peace agreement of August 2015, the goal of which is to put an end to the appalling violence that has been inflicted on the South Sudanese people for far too long.

France calls for an immediate end to the fighting and urges the leaders of this country to commit to implementing the 2015 agreement without delay. As the UN Security Council reaffirmed yesterday, further sanctions could be imposed against those who threaten peace, security and stability in the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development has opened a crisis cell which is working closely with our embassy in Juba and notably aims, in coordination with our European partners, to help our compatriots leave the country if they so wish,



United Nations / Human Rights Council – Closing of the 32nd session (Geneva - July 8, 2016)

France welcomes the results of the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council, which took place in Geneva from June 13 to July 8.

France welcomes the renewal of the mandates of the independent experts in Belarus and in Côte d'Ivoire, as well as the adoption of resolutions on the human rights situation in Eritrea, Syria, and Ukraine.

We supported, together with our EU partners, the creation of a mandate for a UN independent expert on discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We welcome the adoption of resolutions on discrimination, violence to women and female genital mutilation.

Lastly, we welcome the renewal of the mandates of the special rapporteurs on the freedom of assembly, internally displaced persons and the right to food, as well as the adoption of three resolutions on the right to health.


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