Official speeches and statements - May 6, 2019
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, France reaffirms its constant and resolute commitment to the freedom of the press, the freedom of expression and the protection of journalists everywhere.
It reaffirms that a free, independent and pluralist press is critical to the proper functioning of democracies and pays tribute to the journalists who have been murdered, tortured, imprisoned or threatened as a result of their commitment to the right to reliable information.
While threats to the freedom of the press and the safety of journalists are increasing around the world, and the press is facing the challenge of disinformation, notably online, undermining the work of journalists to establish and verify facts, increased support from states for the right to reliable and verified information is necessary. A definitive solution to this issue, which impinges on the very principles of our democracy, can only be provided by public actors. It is up to civil societies to also develop the Â“antibodies" that can ensure our collective resilience, as Jean-Yves Le Drian reaffirmed during the conference on Â“Civil societies, media and public authorities: Democracies facing the manipulation of information" in April 2018. As such, we commend the Journalism Trust Initiative launched by Reporters Without Borders and its partners, aimed at implementing a self-regulating system to provide guarantees with respect to the transparency and verification of information.
In this context, France intends:
- within the framework of its presidency of the G7 and beyond, to promote, in accordance with President Macron’s commitment, the International Partnership for Information and Democracy launched on the initiative of Reporters Without Borders and the international independent Information and Democracy Commission, welcomed through a joint statement by a dozen heads of state and government during the Paris Peace Forum on 11 November.
- to continue to make the safety of journalists and the promotion of the freedom of the press one of the priorities of its international strategy on defending human rights. (...)./.
We, the High Representative of the European Union and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, take note with regret and concern of the decision by the United States not to extend waivers with regards to trade in oil with Iran. We also note with concern the decision by the United States not to fully renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects in the framework of the JCPoA.
The lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the JCPoA - it aims at having a positive impact not only on trade and economic relations with Iran, but most importantly on the lives of the Iranian people. We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States following their withdrawal from the JCPoA.
We remain deeply convinced that the JCPoA is key to increasing stability and security in the Middle East region.
Together, we emphasise our continued commitment to the JCPoA, a crucial element of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and essential for our national and shared European security.
The JCPoA is working and delivering on its goal, as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency in 14 reports.
We note Iran’s continued compliance with the JCPoA, as repeatedly confirmed by the IAEA. We call upon Iran to continue implementing in full its commitments under the JCPoA as well as its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The remaining participants to the JCPoA are committed to working on the preservation and maintenance of financial channels and exports for Iran, together with third countries interested in supporting the JCPoA. We are determined to pursue efforts, together with other European partners, to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran, including through the operationalization of the special purpose vehicle "INSTEX". In this regard, the shareholders are committed to significantly increasing their financial contributions to INSTEX’s operational budget. We encourage all countries, including Russia and China as JCPOA participants, to make their best efforts to pursue the legitimate trade that the agreement allows for, through concrete steps.
We recall the European Council conclusions adopted on February 4th, 2019 and EU’s support for the development of EU-Iran relations in areas of common interest. Complementary to preserving the JCPoA, we support a comprehensive approach with Iran with a view to addressing all issues of concern including its contribution to regional instability and its missile activities./.