The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - June 26, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Chemical weapons / Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention – Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian (June 26-27, 2018)

◢  European Union – Participation of Nathalie Loiseau in the General Affairs Council (Luxembourg - June 26, 2018)

◢  Yemen – Expert meeting on the humanitarian situation in Yemen (Paris - June 27, 2018)

◢  Human Rights – International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26, 2018)

 
Chemical weapons / Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention – Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian (June 26-27, 2018)

I welcome the holding of the fourth special session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention on June 26 and 27 in The Hague.

France, with 10 other partner states, asked that this meeting be held.

The use of a chemical weapon in Salisbury, in the United Kingdom, on March 4, followed by a major chemical weapon attack on April 7 in Syria, killing several dozen people, constituted an exceptional chain of events that required an exceptional response.

My partners and I considered that these two events, and the global context of the re-emergence of chemical weapons, demanded a strong response by the organization responsible for this issue.

France supports the draft decision brought by 22 States, to be voted on by the States Parties meeting today.

This text proposes to strengthen the means of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and in particular, to establish an investigative mechanism responsible for determining those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Such a mechanism is vital to reaffirm the prohibition on using these weapons and to deter their use.



European Union – Participation of Nathalie Loiseau in the General Affairs Council (Luxembourg - June 26, 2018)

Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau is in Luxembourg on June 26 to attend the meeting of the General Affairs Council.

The main points on the agenda are:

  • Enlargement and the stabilization and association process: the ministers will review the enlargement process following the progress report presented by the Commission.
  • Preparation of the next European Council: the ministers will examine the draft conclusions of the European Council of June 28 and 29. Discussions will deal with the European response to the migration challenge, but also security and defense, trade policy, and growth, innovation and the digital sector.
  • Rule of law: in accordance with article 7, paragraph 1 of the TEU, the Council will proceed with a hearing on Poland on the questions raised by judicial reforms instituted by the Polish authorities.

The minister will also attend a session of the General Affairs Council in "article 50" format. Michel Barnier will give a presentation to the ministers on the status of negotiations with the United Kingdom and the ministers will be invited to comment on the draft conclusions of the European Council (article 50) of June 29. Significant progress is vital to bring about an agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom by October.



Yemen – Expert meeting on the humanitarian situation in Yemen (Paris - June 27, 2018)

On June 27, we will host a meeting in Paris of experts on the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

The purpose of this meeting is to examine the humanitarian situation in that country and to find solutions. It comes at a time when important developments on the ground, especially in Hodeidah, demand an urgent operational international response.

The UN considers the Yemeni crisis to be one of the most serious in the world: 8.4 million people are experiencing food insecurity, which could in some cases turn into a famine.

This meeting of experts will bring together representatives of the nations and agencies that are the most heavily involved in Yemen, and which must work together to find solutions to the humanitarian crisis.

The priority objective is to identify ways to remove the obstacles blocking access to and distribution of aid, in ports and airports but also in the country's interior. Access to the port of Hodeidah, through which more than 80% of international humanitarian aid to Yemen passes, as well as most commercial freight, will be given particular attention.

More broadly, this meeting must review all humanitarian and health needs and consider emergency humanitarian actions, in line with the commitments taken by the EU on June 25, at the Foreign Affairs Council.

Only a negotiated, inclusive political solution will end the war in Yemen and ease the humanitarian situation in that country in the long term. France reminds all the parties of the imperatives: the protection of civilians, the security of humanitarian and medical personnel, and free humanitarian access. To this end, we reiterate our support for the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.



Human Rights – International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26, 2018)

On this International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, June 26, France reaffirms its commitment to combat this unacceptable practice in all its forms.

In accordance with international law, France reaffirms the absolute prohibition of torture in all circumstances. It calls on those nations that have not yet done so to join the Convention against Torture as well as its Optional Protocol.

France is also working to combat impunity for the perpetrators of such crimes and to defend torture victims.


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