The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - April 24, 2020
In this issue:

◢  G20 Tourism – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne's participation in the meeting of G20 tourism ministers (via video conference) (April 24, 2020)

◢  Alliance Française Foundation

◢  Guinea Bissau – presidential election (April 24, 2020)

◢  Monitoring the flu

◢  Surrogate motherhood

◢  UN Security Council / global ceasefire

G20 Tourism – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne's participation in the meeting of G20 tourism ministers (via video conference) (April 24, 2020)

Following his discussion yesterday with the secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, took part in the meeting of G20 tourism ministers earlier this afternoon. This meeting falls within the framework of the international coordination of efforts to support and relaunch the sector, in which France is playing an active role. A meeting of the EU tourism ministers is scheduled to take place on April 27 in order to coordinate efforts at the European level.

France thanks the Saudi presidency for organizing this meeting which focused on one of the sectors hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis. It would also like to thank all international organizations, especially the World Tourism Organization, the International Labor Organization and the OECD, for their mobilization. Lastly, France welcomes the efforts of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to monitor the impact of the crisis.

The tourism ministers agreed on the need to continue coordination efforts to facilitate the return of citizens traveling abroad temporarily who are still stranded abroad and the movement of medical and health workers.

They briefed each other on the immediate national measures to support the sector and reaffirmed its economic importance—more than 10% of global GDP and tens of millions of jobs—as well as its human importance through its essential contribution to dialogue between peoples.

The ministers agreed on the need to coordinate efforts to promote the recovery of tourist destinations, at the national level initially, while ensuring coordination once they are able to open up to international visitors. They pledged to implement measures to protect the health of tourists and those working in the sector.

They underscored the private sector's key role in managing the health emergency (solutions for transport, accommodation and dining) and reaffirmed the need for cooperation between private and public stakeholders in order to revive the sector, as currently reflected in France by the weekly meetings of the Tourism Committee and the consultations with the various regions, led by the minister of state.

They underscored the importance of lending support to industry professionals in the sector's transition toward more responsible, environmentally friendly tourism that takes advantage of all opportunities offered by the digital transformation.

Lastly, the ministers underscored the severe impact of the crisis on certain regions of the world that are particularly dependent on tourism, especially Africa, and will give special emphasis to these regions in the context of the recovery efforts. They pledged to share their best practices in a spirit of solidarity and to coordinate their efforts to ensure recovery on a global scale.

Alliance Française Foundation

The minister for Europe and foreign affairs wishes the new president of the Alliance Française Foundation, Yves Bigot, CEO of TV5 Monde, his vice president Françoise Nyssen, a publisher and former Minister of Culture, as well as all members of the new board of directors, every success. Six Alliance Française representatives from all continents will join the board of directors, thereby ensuring that the association's global network is represented.

Established in 1883, the Alliance Française movement is now the world's leading cultural network with 832 locations in 131 countries on five continents. With support from the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, it plays a key role in promoting the French language and culture abroad, working alongside French institutes and embassy cultural services. The Alliances Françaises around the world will be closely implicated in the Foundation's mission; given the latter's current cooperation with the Institute Français Paris, this should give a new boost to promoting the French language and the Francophonie movement, as the President announced in his speech of May 20, 2018.

Guinea Bissau – presidential election (April 24, 2020)

France takes note of the press release issued by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on April 22, recognizing Umaro Sissoco Embalo's victory in the presidential election in Guinea Bissau and inviting him to form a new government that takes into account the results of the legislative elections of March 10.

We call on all political and institutional actors to abide by this decision and to work toward stabilizing the country while respecting the rule of law, in a manner that enables Guinea Bissau's institutions to focus on the country's development and economic recovery.

France applauds the commitment of all of Guinea Bissau's partners in their support for the election process, and especially ECOWAS's vital efforts to resolve the political crisis in that country.

Monitoring the flu

Is it true that there is stepped-up monitoring of seasonal flu this year, along with the Covid-19 epidemic?

We refer you to the Ministry for Solidarity and Health.

Surrogate motherhood

Hello, French families are using surrogacy in Ukraine and other countries. Is the Ministry for Foreign Affairs supporting them in their efforts when the borders to those countries are closed?

The measures taken by Ukraine and many other nations due to the Covid-19 epidemic prohibit access to the country by permanent non-residents as well as non-essential foreign travel by permanent residents.

In light of restrictions on international travel, family reunification initiatives and procedures and adoptions have been suspended for non-residents.

While rigorous, this measure is in the general interest, in order to protect populations.

UN Security Council / global ceasefire

What is the status of Security Council and P5 negotiations on a "global ceasefire?"

As part of global efforts to fight the Covid-19 epidemic and strengthen the response to that crisis, especially in more vulnerable areas, France proposed the adoption of a Security Council resolution calling for a global ceasefire and humanitarian pause. We also want to support the call for a ceasefire issued on March 23 by the UN secretary-general and the efforts of his special envoys who are seeking to make this a reality around the world. Together with Tunisia, we presented a draft resolution to implement that call.

Negotiations are under way between the permanent members of the Security Council on establishing the basic parameters for that ceasefire, which would be unprecedented, and to define a global, united response to the pandemic. We will be pursuing our efforts in the days to come, but we have noted in particular that the five permanent members of the Security Council were determined to work together and fully assume their responsibilities.

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