The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - December 18, 2018
In this issue:

◢  United Nations – Election of France to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) (December 17, 2018)

◢  Syria

United Nations – Election of France to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) (December 17, 2018)

France was elected for a six-year term to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as part of the Western group, at the election in New York on December 17.

UNCITRAL, which was established by the UN General Assembly, is the main body responsible for ensuring the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade.

France, which is an important player in international trade, contributes to UNCITRAL's work. It provides significant legal expertise to the organization and participates in all of its work by sending experts to all of the sessions held by the Commission's six working groups.

France initiated the work currently being undertaken by UNCITRAL in the areas of digital identity and trust services.

It is very involved in the work focusing on e-commerce and investor-state arbitration.

France is determined to ensure that the work undertaken by UNCITRAL make it possible to ensure the reconciliation of major legal traditions in order to find solutions acceptable to all.

France considers it essential to preserve legal pluralism and linguistic diversity, which are key features of the Commission.


What is France's response to two statements (Turkish and American) pointing to a change with regard to Bashar al-Assad?

1) by the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who says that Turkey could consider cooperating with Bashar al-Assad should he prove the winner in democratic and transparent elections;

2) by the U.S. State Department's special representative for Syria engagement, James Jeffrey, who said yesterday that U.S. Syria policy is not aimed at "getting rid of" President al-Assad.

As President Macron reaffirmed in Brussels on December 14, combatting Daesh remains France's absolute priority in Syria.

The only way to restore peace in Syria and stability in the region and to permanently eradicate terrorism is to obtain a credible, sustainable political solution consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

France is mobilizing all its efforts to achieve this political resolution to the conflict, particularly through the dialogue with the main regional and international stakeholders, and especially those of the Small Group and Astana Group. It reaffirms the need for the UN to establish a credible, balanced constitutional committee before the end of the year, in keeping with the commitments taken at the Istanbul Summit on October 27.

The establishment of the constitutional committee must make it possible to revive a credible and inclusive political process leading to the holding of free, impartial elections under UN supervision. All Syrians, including refugees and internally displaced persons, must be able to choose their own leaders in a neutral environment guaranteed by confidence-building measures.

As Jean-Yves Le Drian has said on several occasions, it is not realistic to imagine Bashar al-Assad staying in power in a reconciled Syria.

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