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Published on August 6, 2013
Press briefing by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesman (excerpts)

Paris, July 31, 2013

UNESCO – Presentation of the report on France and UNESCO to M. Laurent Fabius

On 30 July, M. Daniel Janicot, a member of the Conseil d’Etat, presented to M. Laurent Fabius the report on strengthening relations between France and UNESCO, which the latter had requested in accordance with a letter of engagement issued on 28 February.

The role that France historically played in the creation of UNESCO in 1945, notably at the instigation of Léon Blum, and her special responsibility as the host country of the headquarters of this UN specialized agency, justify the special attention that our country accords it, while it faces a serious budgetary crisis.

The Minister commended the quality of M. Janicot’s report, which puts forward several proposals aimed at strengthening France’s presence and influence within the organization. Over the longer term, it is proposed that in-depth discussions be started, in cooperation with the other member states and Director-General Irina Bokova, on UNESCO’s adaptation to the new realities of the modern world.

France would like UNESCO to have the necessary capacity to carry full weight in the international issues covered by its mandate to promote the culture of peace and harmonious development, while respecting the diversity of the world’s cultures.

EU – Report on the European External Action Service

France noted with great interest the report by Mrs Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on the European External Action Service (EEAS).

This report takes stock of the EEAS’s first years of operation and validates the objectives and importance of a more coherent approach to the EU’s external relations, the chief instrument of which is the EEAS.

This document proposes practical adaptations that will contribute to discussions in the run-up to the informal meeting of foreign ministers scheduled to take place in September.

Sudan - Renewal of UNAMID’s mandate

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution to renew the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) for a period of 13 months, in order to mark its support for this mission in its peacekeeping efforts in Darfur.

France reaffirms her full support for UNAMID’s action and for the states helping to consolidate peace in Darfur. Among other things, UNAMID has had to overcome considerable challenges in recent weeks, in particular the attack that took place to the north of Nyala on 13 July which killed seven Tanzanian blue helmets and injured 17 others.

Only a political solution can put an end to the cycle of violence. France calls on all stakeholders to join the Doha process and encourages the Sudanese authorities to continue implementing their commitments to the development of Darfur. (...)./.

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