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Official speeches and statements - December 5, 2018

Published on December 5, 2018

1. Climate - Press statement on climate change, following the meeting between the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, the State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China and the Secretary-General of the United Nations (Buenos Aires - November 30, 2018)

The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, had a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. With COP14 on biodiversity just having been held in Sharm el-Sheikh and COP24 on climate change about to begin in Katowice, they reaffirm their strong determination to work together and with their partners to combat climate change, protect the environment and reduce poverty and inequalities. They recognize that these challenges require a profound transformation of our economies and societies in order to build a common future in a sustainable world.

1. They emphasize their shared understanding of the global challenges on climate and the environment, highlighted in the IPCC’s latest report. The effects of climate change pose a threat to reductions in poverty and human development. They also stress that only a few years remain - not even a generation - to make the transition to a sustainable and ecological civilization a reality.

2. France and China reiterate their firm support for the Paris Agreement, which they regard as an irreversible process and a yardstick for strong action on the climate. COP24 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will play a key role when it comes to finalizing the Paris Agreement Work Program. France and China will work together and with their partners in the run-up to COP24, in order to adopt a package that respects the spirit and letter of the Paris Agreement. The details, procedures and guidelines must be balanced, comprehensive, robust and operational in order to allow the Paris Agreement to be effectively implemented, taking into account the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities, bearing in mind the various national situations. France and China reaffirm their political commitment at the highest level to the effective and transparent implementation of every aspect of the Paris Agreement, including, inter alia, mitigation, adaptation, finance, development and technology transfer, capacity-building and transparent action and support.

In this respect, the two parties hope that the G20 summit in Buenos Aires will provide a political boost that helps make COP24 a success.

3. They agree that the summit organized by the United Nations Secretary-General in September 2019 will be a landmark. They will cooperate closely to make the summit a defining moment to accelerate action, step up ambition and mobilize the resources necessary for achieving an ecological transition.

4. France and China recall the importance of making climate finance available to developing countries. Both are committed to making the Green Climate Fund an effective financing mechanism, contributing to the need for sustainable investment and green finance to steer the transition towards a low-greenhouse-gas-emission and climate-resilient economy.

They welcome the progress made on green finance, including during the One Planet Summit.

5. They emphasize that a fair transition and the creation of decent, high-quality jobs are essential for guaranteeing an effective, inclusive transition to low-greenhouse-gas-emission and climate-resilient development, and for increasing public support for achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

6. They are committed to working together on the link between climate change and biodiversity. China appreciates France’s efforts aimed at promoting a Global Pact for the Environment, whose goal is to close potential loopholes in international environmental law and the way it is implemented.

2. United Nations - Iran - Remarks to the press by the Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations (New York - December 4, 2018)

We just had a meeting that France requested, together with the United Kingdom, on the launch of a ballistic missile by Iran on December 1st.

I think this was an important and needed meeting, and I think it was a useful one. My takeaway is that there are widely shared concerns about the situation.

As far as we are concerned, as France, we have condemned the launch.

We indeed reiterate that the Iranian ballistic missile program, and the launch of this medium-range ballistic missile, is inconsistent with Security Council resolution 2231. I insist on "inconsistent with", to answer questions you raised earlier.

That’s why we, as France, call on Iran to immediately cease any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be able to carry nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology.

Q - Is there going to be a following meeting on this? Is France going to pursue this issue?

A - We’ll follow the issue very carefully, there is no doubt. It is our responsibility to do so. What is at stake here is at the heart of the responsibilities of the Security Council.

Q - Should there be a follow up, should there be any sanctions, any snapback sanctions?

As I said to your colleague, we will continue to follow carefully the situation, which is a source of serious concern for the very reasons I just mentioned. I believe this assessment that the Security Council needs to stay involved and continue to follow very carefully the situation is widely shared.

Q - President of Council said that the launch of the missile is not verified, is that your view or the view of the majority of the Council? Secondly, to you, the word "inconsistent", can you tell us straight forward: is it violation of 2231 and is it not violation of 2231?

A - I was quite clear in what I said 1 minute ago when I said that in our views this program and this launch is inconsistent with Security Council resolution.

Q - To turn to Thursday, does France support the Hamas resolution as it is in the General Assembly as the US proposed it?

A - Yes.

Q - And does the European Union, as far as you know?

A - Yes.