The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - November 25, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian to Marseille (November 26, 2019)

◢  EU – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne attending the Foreign Affairs (Development) Council (Brussels - November 25, 2019)

◢  UN – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25, 2019)

◢  Tripartite meeting between the UN Secretary-General and leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities

◢  Mexico – Kidnapping of a French national

◢  Egypt

 
Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian to Marseille (November 26, 2019)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will visit Marseille on November 26, to witness the signing of a framework contract to promote tourism development and international tourism in France's "South" region. This agreement will be signed between the region, its regional tourism committee and Atout France, the French tourism agency.

The "South-Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur" region attracts almost 220 million overnight tourist stays every year. It had 31 million visitors in 2018, including 6 million international tourists, making it France's second most popular region for international visitors. The "South" region is a longstanding partner of Atout France, and has been implementing an ambitious tourism policy for several years now, focusing on its three global brands - "Provence," "Alpes" and "Côte-d'Azur."

The minister will witness the signing of the first framework contract with Atout France to promote tourism development and international tourism in a French region. This three-year agreement covers statistical monitoring, support for tourism investment and the international promotion of tourist destinations in the "South" region. It will enable the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regional tourism committee and Atout France to develop and revitalize the region's tourist economy and promote the "South" region abroad. Atout France's goal is to extend this new type of agreement to all French regions in order to support their priorities, in accordance with the partnership approach endorsed by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, aimed at achieving the government's objectives for increasing revenue from international tourism and developing a more sustainable tourism industry in France.

Jean-Yves Le Drian will then take part in the "Mediterranean of the Future - Act III" conference, organized by the "South-Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur" region, which will focus on investment. Following the Summit of the Two Shores, which also took place in Marseille in June 2019, this conference should promote a new vision of the Mediterranean, based on concrete and innovative projects to benefit the populations, especially young people in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, by bringing together and mobilizing new networks, new partnerships between civil societies, private companies, public stakeholders, governments and international organizations.



EU – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne attending the Foreign Affairs (Development) Council (Brussels - November 25, 2019)

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, minister of state attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is attending the meeting of EU development ministers on November 25.

- Financial architecture for development: the ministers will discuss the future architecture for sustainable development and the neighborhood policy following the October publication of the report by the Wise Persons' Group. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will stress the need for stronger management of the European development policy, especially with respect to financial instruments.

- Development assistance for countries in transition: the ministers will discuss the methodology to be adopted to improve cooperation between the EU and member states with a view to supporting development in these countries, especially Ethiopia and Sudan. France will come out in favor of a strong EU commitment to these countries and will underscore the French contribution to their transition.

- Gender equality: the ministers will address this issue from the angle of education, with the Ethiopian education minister in attendance. This is a priority for France, which introduced several initiatives during its G7 presidency and is determined to pursue its efforts in this area.

- Global Refugee Forum: the ministers will discuss this forum, which will be held in Geneva on December 17-18 under the auspices of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as current progress on negotiating a new agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States, designed to replace the current Cotonou Agreement.



UN – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25, 2019)

On this 20th International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, France reaffirms its commitment to eliminate all forms of violence directed against women.

Today, such violence represents one of the most widespread forms of human rights violations in the world: an estimated 137 women are killed each day, nearly one-third of them by a husband or ex-husband. In France, 130 women were killed in 2018, or about one every three days.

In times of conflict, women and girls are the leading victims of such violence, often used as a weapon of war. It is a persistent obstacle to human and economic development, to women's access to the job market, and more broadly, to the reduction of inequality between men and women.

Gender equality is one of the priorities of President Macron's term, as reflected by France's work in 2019 during its G7 presidency and its presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe:

  • Working with its European and international partners, France has for the past year been conducting a campaign to make the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, universal.
  • At the G7 summit in Biarritz, President Macron announced €6.2 million in financial support for the Global Survivors Fund launched by 2018 Nobel Prize laureates Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege;
  • To support women who work with the victims of this scourge, the first Simone Veil Prize was awarded this year to Aissa Doumara, a Cameroonian activist whose work has helped survivors of such violence return to ordinary life.

France also remains strongly committed to this issue at the United Nations:

  • Together with the Netherlands, it spearheaded the adoption of the first UN General Assembly resolution to eliminate sexual harassment worldwide;
  • It also initiated the first Group of Friends working to eliminate sexual harassment, which already has more than 30 members just two months after its establishment.

And in 2020, France will continue its commitment to combat all forms of violence against women:

On the 25th anniversary of the UN's Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, France will host the Generation Equality Forum in Paris from July 7-10 at the initiative of UN Women and in partnership with Mexico. This forum will bring together representatives of governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector in coalitions designed to give new momentum to women's rights and gender equality worldwide.

France reiterates its call for mobilization to end impunity for the perpetrators of such violence and calls on all nations that have not yet done so to ratify and implement without reservation the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.



Tripartite meeting between the UN Secretary-General and leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities

We welcome the tripartite meeting held in Berlin today between the UN Secretary-General and leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.

We encourage the parties to take the necessary steps, in a constructive spirit of compromise, to resume a results-oriented negotiation process aimed at resolving the Cyprus issue on the basis of pertinent UN Security Council resolutions.



Mexico – Kidnapping of a French national

Can you confirm that a French national was kidnapped in Mexico? Can you tell us anything more about the circumstances of his disappearance and his identity?

We can confirm the abduction of a French national in Mexico.

The Crisis and Support Center of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, as well as our embassy in Mexico, are mobilizing their efforts and working closely with local authorities to find our compatriot as quickly as possible.

For reasons of security and effectiveness, we maintain the utmost discretion on this type of situation.



Egypt

Does France have any comment on the Egyptian police actions against the Mada Masr online newspaper?

France is committed to the freedom of the press, the security of journalists and that of all those whose expression contributes to public debate throughout the world.

It is one of our foreign policy priorities and one of the focuses of our candid, regular dialogue with Egypt on human rights issues.


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