Official speeches and statements - May 9, 2019
1. Council of Europe - Joint statement by Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr. Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe - Remarks by Mr. Emmanuel Macron (Paris - May 6, 2019)
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I’m delighted once again to welcome Mr. Jagland, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, at such a historic moment. Exactly 70 years ago yesterday, 10 European countries, including yours—Norway—and France, signed the Treaty of London, establishing the Council of Europe. And in a few days France will hold the presidency of the Council for six months.
During the past 70 years, the Council of Europe has allowed us to make huge progress on protecting human rights, the rule of law and democracy in its now 47 member states. The European Court of Human Rights, before which I have had the honour of speaking, is the guarantor of this and offers legal protection to more than 800 million Europeans.
The Council of Europe is celebrating its 70th birthday, but today it is being put to the test.
Firstly, on the very way it functions, on its vocation to be the Â“common house" for Europeans, and in this respect I would like Russia to remain in the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe needs Russia, just as Russia and the Russians need the Council of Europe, and this requires these member-state rights to be respected but also that Russia fulfil its obligations to the institution.
Secondly, the Council of Europe is being put to the test on the values of democracy and respect for the rule of law which it promotes and upholds, and which are being undermined today in several member states. It is these challenges the Council of Europe must take up today, and these challenges which make it more essential than ever for bringing peoples closer together, bringing calm to our societies and upholding the principles and values which are our common heritage.
This is why I’d like to commit to ensuring that the Council of Europe will overcome the current crisis and turn resolutely to the future by adapting its protection of human rights to today’s challenges and emerging even stronger from this period. I know we can count on you, Secretary General, to make the most of the last few months of your mandate to move the Council of Europe forward along this path. I would like our presidency to provide an opportunity to begin a discussion with the 47 member states about the future of the Council of Europe in the coming decades as regards health, innovation and many other issues.
So I’d like the French presidency to commit itself, with you, to several priorities. Firstly, to consolidate what the Council of Europe has achieved, particularly the European system of human rights protection. Secondly, to step up our fight for equality thanks to the universalization of the Convention on combating violence against women, and for cohesion between European peoples—this is the purpose of the plan for a watchdog on the teaching of history, whose creation I support— and finally, to address the challenge posed by new technology. The plan for a convention on artificial intelligence and human rights will be carried forward among other things in the framework of the justice ministers’ meeting we’re organizing in October.
This is how wider Europe, too, can and must rediscover a deep meaning and the sense of a common ambitious project. This is what you have striven for since your work began, and what we shall be fighting for during this French presidency. Thank you, Secretary General, for being in Paris today.
President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj on May 8.
The President reaffirmed France’s support for the government of national accord, with which it will continue its cooperation. He underscored all the efforts undertaken by France over the past two years to rally the Libyan actors around an inclusive political solution leading as swiftly as possible to the elections demanded by the Libyan people. He reiterated his desire to help build peace in Libya through a political process, under the auspices of the United Nations.
The two leaders agreed on the importance of expanding and deepening the dialogue between all components of the Libyan nation in the east, south and west, including civil society.
Noting that there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict, and to bring an end to the military offensive against Tripoli, the President urged an unconditional ceasefire. He emphasized the need to protect civilian populations. A proposal was made in this regard to delineate the lines of the ceasefire under international supervision, in order to define its specific framework.
He also proposed to work closely with the UN to develop, in the coming days, an assessment of the behavior of armed groups in Libya, including those who answer directly to the government of national accord. More generally, the need to combat any and all terrorist activity was reaffirmed.
France will remain fully mobilized to support the mediation effort of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in order to end hostilities, restart the dialogue, and enable the Libyan people to live in peace and security.
We note with great concern the statement made by Iran concerning its commitments under the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).
We remain fully committed to the preservation and full implementation of the JCPoA, a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in the security interest of all.
We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPoA in full as it has done until now and to refrain from any escalatory steps.
We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPoA and the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons). In this respect, we recall the key role of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) monitoring and verification of the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments.
We also look to Iran to continue to adhere to established JCPoA formats and mechanisms including the JCPoA Joint Commission.
At the same time we recall our own firm commitments under the agreement including as regards sanctions-lifting for the benefit of the Iranian people. In this regard, we regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States following their withdrawal from the JCPoA.
We are determined to continue pursuing efforts to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran, including through the operationalization of the special purpose vehicle INSTEX.
We call on countries not party to the JCPoA to refrain from taking any actions that impede the remaining parties’ ability to fully perform their commitments.
Iran has announced that it wants to restrict some of its commitments under the Vienna agreement on the Iranian nuclear program (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPoA).
France notes these statements with concern. It is determined to ensure that the agreement, which is central to the international non-proliferation system and to international security, is fully implemented.
It is important to avoid any actions which would prevent the parties currently committed to the agreement from implementing their obligations or which would fuel an escalation.
It therefore calls firmly on Iran to continue complying with all its nuclear obligations under the agreement and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and to refrain from any measures that would put it in breach of its commitments.
France recalls the statement by the E3 ministers and the High Representative on May 4, which expressed deep regret over the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States following its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
France remains determined to work towards preserving and maintaining Iran’s financial circuits and exports, together with third countries interested in supporting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
France is in close contact with the other remaining participants in the agreement, in particular the European ones, to examine Iran’s announcements in detail.