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Official speeches and statements - June 29, 2021

Published on June 29, 2021

1. Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh - Jean-Yves Le Drian’s participation in the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh (Rome - June 28, 2021) - Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesperson (excerpt) (Paris - June 28, 2021)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is taking part today in Rome in the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh; this will be its first face-to-face plenary session in two years.

The Minister will emphasize France’s major contribution within the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh and the importance of continuing our efforts in the Levant, in both the civilian and military spheres, in order to ensure the lasting defeat of the organization, which is continuing to demonstrate troubling resilience in certain territories. Maintaining very strong pressure against Daesh remains essential.

The Minister will reaffirm France’s support for Iraq’s stability and sovereignty. While unacceptable attacks continue to take place against the Coalition’s interests, the Minister will call for increased cooperation with and between the Iraqi authorities in order to put an end to these acts and to bring their perpetrators to justice.

With respect to Syria, the Minister will reaffirm his support for the implementation of a credible and lasting political solution in line with UNSCR 2254, a prerequisite for the lasting defeat of Daesh.

The Minister will emphasize the priority France gives to the fight against terrorism in the Sahel, where it will continue to commit the necessary resources to combat this scourge within the framework of the transformation of the International Coalition for the Sahel mechanism announced by President Macron. (...)

2. Médecins Sans Frontières - Attacks on MSF teams in Ethiopia and the Central African Republic - Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesperson (Paris - June 27, 2021)

France utterly condemns the deadly attacks which have hit Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and the Central African Republic over the past few days.

It extends its condolences to the bereaved and pays tribute to the commitment of humanitarian workers, who continuously strive to bring relief to civilians.

France recalls that protecting healthcare personnel is an obligation under international law, which applies to all players in armed conflicts.

3. Mali - Attack on the German MINUSMA contingent - Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesperson (Paris - June 25, 2021)

France utterly condemns the attack carried out today against the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in the Gao region, in which several people were wounded, some seriously, particularly in the German and Belgian contingents.

France stands alongside its partners and expresses its full solidarity with the wounded soldiers.

France reaffirms its full support for MINUSMA, which plays an essential role in Mali’s stabilization. It pays tribute to the commitment of the countries contributing to it. It continues to stand by all its partners in the Sahel in combating the scourge of terrorism.

4. United Kingdom - Post-Brexit agreement on the mutual recognition of UK and French driving licenses - Communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Interior (Paris - June 25, 2021)

Following the implementation of the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU), known as Brexit, the French and British authorities have reached an agreement on the continued mutual recognition of driving licenses, which will come into effect from Monday 28 June 2021.

This principle of recognition remains valid for holders of UK driving licenses issued before 1 January 2021, who do not therefore need to exchange their license for a French license, regardless of their nationality. The principle also applies to French license holders living in the United Kingdom.

In practice, UK license holders living in France and French license holders living in the United Kingdom may continue driving on their original valid license. It is not necessary for them to apply to exchange it for the license of their country of residence, except when the validity date on their original license expires or the license is lost or stolen.

On the other hand, holders of licenses issued after 1 January 2021 who wish to live in France for more than one year must exchange their license. In such cases, holders have a period of one year from when they settle in the country to apply for an exchange.

Applications to exchange licenses must be made through the Agence nationale des titres sécurisés (ANTS):

It should be noted that any holders of UK driving licenses travelling to France for a short tourist stay will be able to drive using their license there, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic of 8 November 1968, of which France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are signatories. This also applies to French drivers travelling to the United Kingdom.

British Ambassador Ed Llewellyn said, "I’m delighted to be able to reassure those with valid UK licenses that they can continue to drive in France without taking a French driving test. I know this will be welcome news for so many people who rely on being able to drive to get to work, attend medical appointments and see friends and family.

For those with an expired UK license, there is now a clear route to exchanging it, which will allow these people to get back on the road."

5. United Nations - Children in armed conflict - Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations to the Security Council (New York - June 28, 2021)

([translation from French]}

Madam President,

I would like to thank the Secretary General, Mrs. Gamba and Mrs. Fore as well as all our other guests for their statements.

Since 2005, 150,000 children have been released thanks to the commitment of this Council, successive Special Representatives, UNICEF and civil society. This is one of the great, but under-recognized, successes of the Security Council over the past 15 years.

We must do more to implement the protection framework created by Resolution 1612. This ambitious and innovative resolution, introduced at the time by France and Benin, has since structured our collective action.

Nevertheless, violations against children continue, fueled by the intensification and complexity of conflicts. We must make the best use of the tools that have been put in place. The actors of the mechanism for monitoring and reporting must receive political and financial support to operate safely.

Covid-19 restrictions have limited our ability to monitor and respond to grave violations against children. I would like to express my gratitude to all child protection and civil society actors who have continued to ensure the smooth functioning of the mechanism, despite the current context.

The socio-economic consequences of the pandemic and school closures put children at greater risk: inequalities are increasing in all regions of the world. Acts of domestic violence, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and school dropout have increased.

School closures increase recruitment by armed groups as well as child labor. Here, as everywhere, girls also have specific vulnerabilities. I am thinking in particular of the risk of early and forced marriage.

For its part, France will continue to play an active role and promote the universal endorsement of the Paris Principles and Commitments.

In the field, we support projects that guarantee access to education in emergency situations, notably the "Education Cannot Wait" Fund. Through the Global Partnership for Education, France is funding an 11 million dollars project in Niger to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the education system.

Because girls are particularly affected, as I said, France is supporting the creation of protective environments within schools. This is one of the objectives of the "Gender at the Center" initiative in the Sahel countries, which France is funding with 10 million euros. Our action also includes a component devoted to care, in the face of the unacceptable increase in sexual mutilation and violence. This is the purpose of several projects we are supporting in Iraq and of our contribution to the Mukwege/Murad Fund for survivors of sexual violence.

The Security Council must remain mobilized, not only through its working group but also in all its actions. You can count on France’s commitment, Madam President.

I thank you.