The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - February 21, 2020
In this issue:

◢  United Nations – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian to Geneva (February 24, 2020)

◢  Israel / Palestinian territories – Settlements (February 21, 2020)

United Nations – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian to Geneva (February 24, 2020)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will visit Geneva on February 24.

• The minister will take part in the opening of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council. He will formally present France's candidacy for the Council for the period 2021-2023 and will set out our priorities with respect to the promotion of gender equality, the protection of human rights defenders, and the promotion of press freedom and the right to reliable information.

Jean-Yves Le Drian will also meet with Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

• On the sidelines of this Council, the minister and his German counterpart will chair a meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism, led by our two countries, which brings together those states wishing to promote multilateralism and to implement concrete initiatives to support it. The participants will discuss the Call for Humanitarian Action launched in New York in September 2019 which has at this point been endorsed by 43 states pledging to take action to strengthen respect for international humanitarian law. The meeting will also be devoted to the fight against impunity.

• The minister will deliver a speech at the Conference on Disarmament, a key multilateral forum, whose work we support; he will outline France's agenda on disarmament and arms control.

• The minister will meet with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO). They will specifically discuss international efforts coordinated by the WHO to combat the coronavirus.

• He will also meet with Roberto Azevêdo, director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Israel / Palestinian territories – Settlements (February 21, 2020)

France condemns the announcements regarding the construction of several thousand housing units in the settlements of Har Homa and Givat Hamatos, in East Jerusalem. The expansion of these two settlements directly undermines the viability of a future Palestinian state, as the European Union has reiterated on several occasions.

All forms of settlement activity are illegal under international law and challenge the two-state solution on the ground. France urges the Israeli authorities to reconsider these decisions and to refrain from any unilateral measures.

It reaffirms that the two-state solution, with both states living in peace and security within secure, recognized borders and with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region. It stands ready to support any effort in this direction based on agreed international parameters and coming about through negotiations between the parties.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
f t YouTube Flickr Instagram