The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Paris - August 31, 2016
In this issue:

◢  Gabon – Presidential election

◢  Myanmar/ Burma – 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference (August 31, 2016)

◢  Environment – World Conservation Congress (Hawaii - September 1-10, 2016)

◢  Venezuela – Freedom of the press

Gabon – Presidential election

The presidential election is an important step in Gabonese political life. As reported by the international observers, it took place in an atmosphere of calm.

As the observers also point out, the long-awaited results must be published in a transparent and impartial manner. This will help ensure the credibility of the results.

Similarly, any potential disputes that may arise must be resolved through the appeal mechanisms available under the law. Respect for the will of the people can only be guaranteed through the rule of law.

Myanmar/ Burma – 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference (August 31, 2016)

France welcomes the opening of the 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference, which will bring together the Burmese government, the armed ethnic groups as well as the different Burmese political parties around the table, and will be attended by representatives of the international community, including Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General.

We support Aung San Suu Kyi's determination to hold the broadest possible dialogue and to rebuild trust.

This conference is an important step toward restoring peace and promoting national reconciliation.

France will continue to lend its support to Burma in its progress toward peace and democracy.

Environment – World Conservation Congress (Hawaii - September 1-10, 2016)

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, held every four years, will take place in Hawaii (United States) from September 1-10.

The IUCN has established that more than a quarter of species are in danger of extinction, including 42% of amphibians, 34% of conifers, 33% of corals, 31% of sharks and rays, 26% of mammals and 13% of birds. Thousands of scientists, academics, and business and political leaders from all over the world will present the latest tools and measures available to protect nature. They will discuss ways to reconcile nature conservation with human progress, in the belief that nature offers an array of solutions to address global environmental and climate challenges. Ambitious actions must be undertaken by 2020. More than 1,500 events will be held on the protection of the oceans, the fight against wildlife trafficking, biodiversity, the mitigation of the effects of climate disruption, as well as the transition toward more sustainable development.

France and the IUCN have been linked since 2005 through a partnership agreement, which brings together, on the French side, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Overseas France as well as the French Development Agency. Innovative financing for biodiversity, the governance of protected areas, European overseas territories, islands and oceans are central to the 2013-2016 partnership

Venezuela – Freedom of the press

France expresses its concern over the situation of the press in Venezuela, where there have been several attacks on press outlets and foreign journalists have been expelled.

We call on the Venezuelan authorities to guarantee respect for the freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

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