The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - March 21, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Gastronomy – 4th edition of "Goût de France/Good France" (March 21, 2018)

◢  Sahel Alliance – Launch of a project to support Malian youth (March 20, 2018)

◢  Environment – French participation in Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Medellin - March 17-24, 2018)

◢  India / Fight against terrorism – Murder of Indian workers in Mosul

Gastronomy– 4th edition of "Goût de France/Good France" (March 21, 2018)

Goût de France/Good France will celebrate French gastronomy for the fourth consecutive year on March 21.

As announced by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and chef Alain Ducasse, this unique global event is being held on 5 continents in over 150 countries. 3,300 restaurants and 150 French embassies are taking part in this event, which will notably pay tribute this year to chef Paul Bocuse, who recently passed away.

Abroad, our embassies have brought together chefs, sommeliers, trainees and producers from all walks of life to promote the French art of living and regional ingredients, by showcasing the exceptional gastronomic heritage of Nouvelle-Aquitaine this year. In France, the Collège culinaire de France, a partner of the event, is mobilizing the efforts of its 1,300 member restaurants.

Goût de France/Good France aims to raise the profile of the French gastronomic meal, inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2010. This living heritage is continuously renewing and re-inventing itself thanks to the gastronomic riches of our regions and the sharing of knowledge with kitchens around the world.

France's popularity as a tourist destination was boosted significantly in 2017. Almost 89 million international tourists came to France (+5% compared to 2016), making 2017 a record year for tourism in France. Given that a third of tourists say that they come to our country for it culinary heritage, French gastronomy is a cornerstone of France's appeal as a destination and actively contributes to promoting French culture.

Sahel Alliance – Launch of a project to support Malian youth (March 20, 2018)

As President Macron announced at the conference in support of the G5 Sahel on February 23 in Brussels, a Sahel Alliance project was launched yesterday in Mali, in the Mopti region.

This €10 million project, referred to as "ACTIF" (support for local authorities and youth focusing on integration and training initiatives), is financed by France, through the French Development Agency. The overall objective is to provide more opportunities to young people in Mopti in terms of training, finding employment and participating in socio-economic development.

The project notably includes a support component aimed at providing training to teachers as well as a literacy module for students, before orientation toward fields that offer job opportunities in the agricultural and renewable energy sectors. The ACTIF initiative will be led by Mopti's regional council and implemented by a consortium of NGOs and by local authorities.

France's efforts in the Sahel are based on the premise that sustained efforts in the area of development and local governance are necessary in order to respond to the deep-rooted causes of instability. It is essential to work on strengthening economic activity that will provide employment for young people.

The Sahel Alliance was launched at the initiative of France and Germany on July 13, 2017, in Paris, with the President and Chancellor in attendance. It is a coordinating mechanism for the main development partners of the Sahel States that should facilitate the swifter, more effective and better targeted delivery of aid. The project launched in Mali yesterday illustrates this new thinking, which brings in local actors for projects with rapid impacts targeting the most vulnerable areas of the Sahel.

Environment – French participation in Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Medellin - March 17-24, 2018)

The sixth plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-6) opened on March 17 in Medellin, Colombia.

Similar to GIEC and its work on climate change science, IPBES aims to summarize knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystemic services, to provide clear information for decision-makers and public opinion. Established in 2012 and attached to the United Nations Environment Program, it is an intergovernmental body open to all UN members (it had 129 members as of March 2018).

At this plenary, the member states must examine four regional assessments (Africa, America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe-Central Asia) as well as a thematic assessment on soil degradation and the possibility of land restoration. These five documents include operational conclusions for public authorities.

During his opening speech at the GIEC general assembly in Paris on March 13, Jean-Yves Le Drian had called for strengthening scientific language to better inform the public at large. In Medellin, France is represented by a large ministerial and scientific delegation. In keeping with President Macron's commitment, the French government intends to contribute to educational efforts on nature on a par with those that already exist on the climate. Along with climate disruption, the collapse of biodiversity is one of the major crises we are facing.

Paris will host the next session of IPBES in 2019, which will see the adoption, for the first time, of a global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystemic services. It will be one of the reference documents in developing a future global framework for biodiversity post-2020.

India / Fight against terrorism – Murder of Indian workers in Mosul

Following the Indian authorities' confirmation of the murder of a group of Indian workers kidnapped by Daesh in 2014, France offers its condolences to the victims' families and loved ones and to the Indian authorities.

We pay tribute to the investigation carried out with the Iraqi authorities that made it possible to establish the truth about the fate of these victims of terrorism.

France stands with its Indian and Iraqi partners in the fight against terrorism and for peace and stability.

President Macron's state visit on March 9-12 helped strengthen our strategic partnership with India to meet the challenges of collective security and to reaffirm the importance of bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

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