The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - November 30, 2018
In this issue:

◢  G20 Summit – Trilateral climate meeting (November 30, 2018)

◢  World AIDS Day (December 1, 2018)

◢  Incidents in the Sea of Azov

G20 Summit – Trilateral climate meeting (November 30, 2018)

On the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires (Nov. 30-Dec. 1), Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will meet on November 30 with Wang Yi, China's state councilor and minister for foreign affairs, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

They will discuss climate and environmental issues ahead of the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (from December 2 to 14 in Katowice, Poland), which must decide on robust, ambitious rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Their meeting will also be important for laying the groundwork for the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Protection of Biological Diversity, to be held in China in 2020.

On November 19, France and China launched the Franco-Chinese Year of the Environment, thereby demonstrating their resolve to join forces in the fight against global warming and the protection of the environment. It sends a message encouraging international mobilization in these areas.

Their meeting will be followed by a press conference and a joint statement to the press.

World AIDS Day (December 1, 2018)

On this World AIDS Day, held on December 1, France reaffirms its commitment to combating HIV/AIDS. It calls on all actors in the international community—both public and private—to work together to end the pandemic by 2030 in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Despite enormous progress over the past 30 years, there are still large obstacles to eliminating AIDS. In 2017, 1.8 million people were newly infected and more than 40% of those affected still do not have access to treatment. AIDS remains the leading cause of death in women aged 15 to 44, and the second-largest mortality factor for teenagers worldwide.

France played a key role in the establishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) in 2002. We are also one of the countries that originated UNITAID in 2006, financing 60% of its work on innovative treatments, diagnosis and prevention.

France is continuing its effort to combat HIV/AIDS:

  • as the second-largest donor, historically, to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria ($4.8 billion since 2002)
  • as the leading donor to UNITAID (€1.5 billion since 2006)
  • through the commitment of its researchers
  • as part of its bilateral aid efforts, especially in the areas of technical assistance and support for associations.

This commitment was reaffirmed by President Macron's decision to host the Sixth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund in Lyon on October 10, 2019. We are counting on the world's leaders to raise new resources for the Global Fund for the period 2020-2022.

Incidents in the Sea of Azov

How can you comment on information relating to Ukrainian air defense training in the Sea of Azov? How can you link that to calls for de-escalation in the region?

Please refer to the comments made by the minister on Tuesday with respect to the incidents in the Kerch Strait during his joint press conference with his Russian counterpart.

He called on the parties to encourage efforts to ease the situation and to engage in a process of de-escalation, in the same way as the EU member states and the NATO allies. This notably requires the immediate release of the prisoners and the return of the vessels captured by the Russian authorities.

We also reaffirm our attachment to the freedom of navigation in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and in the Kerch Strait.

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