Paris Climate Conference/security measures
Q. – The government has opted to go ahead with the COP21, the climate summit, in Paris; will this be a scaled-down version or are all the meetings – it lasts 12 days – on the agenda going ahead?
THE MINISTER – No, everything is going ahead, everything is going ahead, of course…
Q. – Are you sure it’s a good idea, given the context of threats?
THE MINISTER – Of course, everything is going ahead as long as security can be guaranteed. This is why the government, which after all has the job of protecting the population, said that the two outside events, those on 29 November and 12 December, for which protection can not be completely guaranteed, can’t be authorized. But everything else, especially everything happening inside – in halls – is going to be secure. As far as civil society and the NGOs are concerned, I want to pay tribute to them, because they are showing a great spirit of responsibility; they will be present.
Within the Le Bourget site itself, there will be over 350 events, i.e. debates, screenings. The NGOs will be there and taking part. And they must do so because their contribution is absolutely essential. Our role, as host country, is to ensure protection, and not just vis-à-vis potential attacks. You saw the other day that there were scenes of panic, and so we’ve got to pay very close attention to that. What would people say to us if we allowed events to take place and there was – I was going to say incidents – much more than incidents…?
Q. – Precisely, in the French Republic’s Journal Officiel on 15 November, the Health Ministry issued quite a worrying administrative order on the use of an antidote in the event of chemical weapons being used, and this text was issued on behalf of the COP21. Should we be that worried?
THE MINISTER – When there are large-scale occasions, demonstrations and events, general precautions need to be taken, but equally we mustn’t go as far as causing panic either. The COP is going to host 40,000 delegates. And then, let me give you this information: to date we’ve got approval – in a word, we’ve been told they’re coming – from 137 heads of state and government, who are going to speak on the first day, i.e. 30 November./.