Official speeches and statements - December 7, 2021
At the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, visited the United Arab Emirates on 3 December 2021. The leaders toured EXPO 2020, emphasizing the importance of this event in building bridges and promoting partnerships.
The French President conveyed his congratulations to His Highness on the occasion of the national day and the Golden Jubilee of the UAE on 2 December, and praised the achievements made by the country in the preceding 50 years. The French President congratulated His Highness and the people of the UAE on hosting the Conference of the Parties in 2023 (COP28) which would be of special significance. He highlighted the opportunity for France and the UAE to work jointly to tackle the global threat of climate change, as well as finalizing the Paris Agreement rulebook and mobilizing finance for developing countries most affected by climate change.
His Highness stated that the UAE looks forward to working with France and the international community to accelerate global efforts to address climate change and environmental protection and to create a more sustainable economic future. The French President emphasized the ambitious commitments taken by the European Union to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and to reduce net emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
In a joint communique marking the visit of the French president, the UAE and France highlighted their commitment to align their support to developing countries with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and to increase their support to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Solar Alliance.
Reviewing developments in the region and beyond, the two leaders expressed converging views and stressed their willingness to jointly address regional and global challenges. They underlined the need for international cooperation through effective multilateralism instruments. In this context, both leaders looked forward to working alongside each other during the UAE’s non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council for the term 2022-2023, and during the presidency of France in the European Union, with a focus on priorities such as promoting stability, peace and prosperity, women’s empowerment and harnessing the potential of technological innovation.
With an evolving international landscape, and reflecting on the exceptional achievements of the strategic partnership of the past 30 years, both leaders expressed a commitment to strengthen this partnership, charting new paths for the future. This strategic partnership has as one of its key anchors the defense agreement signed in 1995 and renewed in 2009, which has contributed greatly to UAE and French security priorities, by strengthening regional stability, enhancing maritime security, and enabling the fight against terrorism, in particular against Daesh. The two leaders reaffirmed the expansion of this partnership, with France supplying 80 Rafale fighter jets to the UAE Air Force Squadron in addition to 12 Caracal H225 Helicopters including weaponizing, training and spare parts, with contracts worth euro16.6 billion.
The two leaders agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism, terrorist financing and extremism. In this regard, both leaders emphasized the importance of promoting the values of peace, moderation, coexistence and tolerance among peoples, established on the basis of mutual respect, dialogue, cooperation and renunciation of all forms of terrorism, extremism, violence, hatred, discrimination and incitement.
His Highness congratulated President Macron on the success of the international conference on Libya, held recently in Paris. He valued France’s various diplomatic initiatives in the region, and its positive impact on encouraging dialogue and de-escalating tensions. Both leaders expressed hope for the successful holding of the Libyan elections within the agreed timeframe and on the withdrawal from Libya of all mercenaries, foreign fighters and forces.
Both leaders expressed their commitment to support the efforts made to promote peace and stability at both the regional and international levels. They also affirmed that political processes and building bridges through dialogue remain the guiding compass aimed at achieving a sustainable solution for all conflicts. They also noted that linking stability and prosperity remains a priority to achieve regional peace and security The two leaders commended their growing cooperation on Africa, emphasizing the importance of security and stability in the Sahel and Horn of Africa region. President Macron thanked His Highness for his support in the fight against terrorism, through airlift support that proves useful for the G5 Sahel coalition. Both leaders expressed concern over the volatile situation in the Horn of Africa, and over the developments that may reverse economic and political gains there. They also noted that due to the region’s strategic geographic location, its stability is critical for the safety of global trade routes and international energy supplies.
President Macron and His Highness discussed the talks regarding the Iranian nuclear program and underscored the importance of a negotiated solution.
President Macron welcomed the UAE’s outlook on focusing on de-escalation and cooperation with an aim for shared future prosperity. In this context, President Macron also reiterated his congratulations to His Highness on the progress of the Abraham Accord, as a bold step toward peace and stability in the region.
Both leaders reaffirmed the need to continue to address broader security concerns of the region.
In the field of culture, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the success of Louvre Abu Dhabi as the emblem of the strategic cultural cooperation and an enduring legacy of the close ties that link the two countries. They welcomed an extension of the intergovernmental agreement that will enshrine for the future the position and the development of this unique museum in the region. Both leaders called for new projects to further propel cultural cooperation.
The two leaders highlighted their shared economic interests to enhance their competitiveness through cooperation and investment in future-looking sectors. Both leaders witnessed the signing of economic agreements with a total value of more than euro15 billion to strengthen the strategic investment partnership between the UAE and France, targeting sectors of mutual priority and interest, including sectors identified in the France2030 economic program, such as renewable energies, innovation, technologies and 4.0 industries.
An extension of the current co-investment program between Mubadala Investment Company and Bpifrance was signed, for a total joint amount of euro4 billion, to be deployed in line with the previous strategy of both Franco-Emirati Fund and the Innovation Partnership. Mubadala Investment Company signed as well a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, to explore investments in French funds for a total amount of euro1.4 billion.
Furthermore, Masdar, one of the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy companies, and ENGIE, a global energy player in low-carbon energy and services, have signed a strategic alliance agreement to explore the co-development of a UAE-based green hydrogen hub. The two companies are looking to develop projects with a capacity of at least 2 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, with a total investment in the region of around euro4.4 billion.
An investment agreement was also signed between ADQ, through its portfolio companies, and the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance, and the Recovery to explore investment opportunities with France in the fields of mobility and logistics, food and agriculture, clean energy, life sciences, and healthcare with a total amount of up to euro4.6 billion.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and TotalEnergies signed a strategic collaboration agreement in areas of mutual interest including carbon capture and storage (CCS), low-carbon H₂, talent development and upstream oil and gas operations in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The strategic agreement offers the potential to unlock new and sustainable growth opportunities for both companies. Also, Borouge awarded a contract to Technip Energies, in consortium with Target Engineering, to build a world-scale ethane cracker for the Borouge 4 expansion project in Ruwais. The expansion will see Borouge become the world’s largest single-site polyolefin complex and ensure the long-term and sustainable supply of core materials to critical sectors vital to both the UAE and the global economy.
Both leaders also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance, and the Recovery in the field of industries and advanced technology.
In the field of space, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) and Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore potential cooperation on Emirates Lunar Mission Rashid-2 Rover, whereas MBRSC intends to develop the mission and CNES expressed its interest to potentially provide a new generation of multispectral cameras and support testing of the Rover.
The two leaders emphasized the importance of the work accomplished since 2018 by ALIPH for protecting and rehabilitating heritage in areas of conflict and reaffirmed their shared commitment in view of the second Donors’ Conference to be held in Paris early 2022. They also expressed their shared support to multilateral health initiatives such as COVAX and UNITAID.
The UAE and France recognize the importance of enhancing food security, promoting the sustainability and resilience of international food supply chains, and leveraging modern agricultural technologies and innovative solutions. Therefore, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food signed an MoU to collaborate on developing sustainable and resilient food systems in both countries. To this end, they agreed to facilitate bilateral trade in agricultural and food products through streamlining the supply chains and encouraging importers and distributors in both countries to explore opportunities for partnerships. They also agreed to collaborate on developing sustainable agricultural production with a focus on innovation and adopting modern agricultural production methods.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with France’s electricity company (EDF). The two organizations will cooperate in the fields of low carbon hydrogen, high voltage transmission, localization and industrialization as well as research and development (R&D).
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has also been signed between Paris Europlace and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) with a view to developing cooperation in the field of sustainable finance, fintech and financial innovation.
Based on the strength of such a broad and solid partnership that contributes to increasing mutual security, stability, economic development and symbolic cooperation, the two leaders expressed confidence in their ability to address future challenges.
2. United Nations - Democratic Republic of the Congo - MONUSCO - Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York - December 6, 2021)
[translation from French]
I would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary General and yourself, as Chairman of the 1533 Committee, for your presentations.
I also thank Ms. Kalala for her engagement in favor of women’s rights.
I would like to highlight three points.
First, progress at the regional and internal levels must be supported.
France welcomes the positive dynamic between the States of the region. It supports President Tshisekedi’s initiatives to strengthen engagement with neighboring states. The operationalization of the Contact and Coordination Group for non-military measures will be a further step to consolidate confidence. The upcoming meeting of the follow-up mechanism to the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement will contribute to strengthening dialogue and stability in the region.
The fight against impunity is being strengthened with the conviction of more than 200 individuals for acts of sexual violence. France welcomes the work to establish a reparation fund for victims. The conviction of Mai-Mai leader Kolokolo for crimes against humanity demonstrates that abuses committed by armed groups do not go unpunished. Efforts to establish a national strategy for transitional justice must continue.
France calls for credible, transparent, inclusive, and peaceful elections to be held in 2023. Preserving the democratic space is essential for this.
All efforts must converge to protect the population and respond to their needs.
France takes note of the recent targeted and concerted actions between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda against the Allied Democratic Forces. Close coordination between all actors, including with MONUSCO and the States of the region, is essential. In all circumstances, France will remain attentive to the risks of exactions and the protection of civilian populations. As inter-community violence increases, the fight against hate speech and incitement to violence must continue.
Military measures will be insufficient without prospects for those who have chosen peace. The new disarmament program must be continued. A national implementation strategy must be developed. France encourages international partners, in particular the World Bank, to support its implementation.
Humanitarian needs continue to grow. Humanitarian and medical workers must be protected and access guaranteed. France condemns the kidnapping of two staff working for the International Committee of the Red Cross in North Kivu on November 30th.
Health remains a challenge. The European Union has deployed humanitarian aid to assist communities affected by meningitis in Tshopo province. France remains mobilized within the framework of the Franco-Congolese roadmap for the fight against epidemics.
Finally, the commitment of the United Nations remains essential to contribute to peace, stabilization and institution building.
MONUSCO, UN agencies, funds and programs must act in concert. By strengthening their integration and increasing joint programs, they will further support stabilization.
The implementation of the Government’s Program of Action will be essential to meet the indicators that will guide the reconfiguration of the UN presence. Support from international and regional partners will need to increase to achieve the objectives set by the MONUSCO Transition Plan.
The Congolese authorities know that they can count on France’s support, particularly to strengthen their institutions. France is proud to contribute to the modernization of the Congolese armed forces through the Kinshasa War College. This is a partnership for peace and stability.
As this Council prepares to renew MONUSCO’s mandate, I would like to pay tribute to its personnel who operate in an unstable environment in which they are often targets. Together, let us continue to accompany the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the path to lasting peace.
3. United Nations - The protection of education in conflict - Statement by Ms. Diarra Dime-Labille, legal advisor of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council in Arria meeting (New York - December 6, 2021)
I commend Niger and Norway’s strong commitment to the protection of education in conflict. France was proud to contribute to the adoption of landmark resolution 2601 under your leadership. I also thank the Head of UNICEF, Madam Fore, who, on the eve of her departure and the end of her mandate, will be able to show an excellent record even in the difficult context of the Covid.
As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic has undermined access to education for children throughout the world. This vulnerability is exacerbated in the context of conflict.
And the Ambassador of Niger explained it well. In the Sahel for example, the targeting of schools, especially non-religious ones, has disrupted education for millions of children. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are restricting girls’ and adolescents’ access to education. The closure of schools and restrictions to the right to education further expose children, especially girls, to child labor and exploitation, violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, as well as to early and forced marriages and pregnancies.
Resolution 2601 adopted last October demonstrated our common determination to condemn grave violations against children, including attacks on schools and on education. We must now fully implement Resolution 2601 and all previous CAAC resolutions.
In this context, we must increase our support for education in crisis. We welcome the work of UNICEF, UNESCO, the Francophonie, education and child protection actors as well as civil society organizations in this regard.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Special Representative, Madam Gamba, to whom I reiterate France’s support, as well as to all the other briefers: Paola, in the first place, Madame Doris Mpoumou and Prince Haakon.
France will continue to make education and the protection of children in armed conflict a priority. France has increased its financial support on this priority, including through the Global Partnership for Education and the Education cannot wait fund. France continues to call for the strengthening of national protection frameworks through the endorsement of the Paris principles and commitments and the Safe schools declaration. We welcome the recent endorsement by Mongolia as the 112th country to have endorsed the Paris principles.
Excellencies, we have heard Paola’s poignant testimony. We have heard her recommendations and those of all the children with her. She is right, no child should be afraid. Rest assured that France will continue to play an active role to protect children and their right to education, by being very attentive to the respect of the obligations of all parties under international humanitarian law and by strongly engaging in the fight against impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious violations of children’s rights.