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Official speeches and statements - February 19, 2020

Published on February 19, 2020

1. United Nations - Ukraine - Joint statement by Belgium, France, Germany, Estonia and Poland, current and former EU members of the Security Council (New York,, 18/02/2020)

We as the current and previous European Union members of the Security Council - Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland, fully support the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

We condemn the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol and the destabilization of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Russia must in particular end its financial and military support to the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Respect for the territorial integrity of UN member states and the prohibition of the use of force are fundamental principles of international law both under the UN Charter as well as under the Helsinki Final Act. By the use of force against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, Russia is clearly violating the fundamental principles of international law.

After six years of conflict, the unstable security situation in eastern Ukraine has had an increasingly adverse impact on the civilian population, in particular on the most vulnerable living in the Non-Government Controlled Areas, and along the Line of Contact where people are under continuous threat of shelling. Some 3.5 million people require humanitarian assistance and protection due to, inter alia widespread mine contamination, escalating psychological trauma and lack of access to basic services. We deplore recent military escalations with fatalities at the line of contact. We call on the sides for full compliance with the ceasefire and in particular on Russia to use its considerable influence over the armed formations it backs to meet the Minsk commitments in full.

We welcome the Common agreed conclusions of the summit held in Paris on the 9th of December 2019 whereby the member states of the Normandy format reaffirmed that the Minsk agreements continue to be the basis of their work. The full implementation of Minsk Agreements by all sides and political dialogue remain the basis for solving the conflict. In that respect, the commitments under the Minsk agreements have to be fully implemented, beginning with full compliance with the ceasefire in line with the conclusion of the Paris summit, withdrawal of heavy weaponry, and constructive engagement in the Normandy format and the Trilateral contact group. The obstruction of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission must end./.

2. United Nations - Presentation of the Generation Equality Forum - Statement by the Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations (New York, 18/02/2020)

Dear colleagues,

I would like to begin by thanking Phumzile and my colleague Juan Ramón the Mexican Ambassador for their presence. Both UN-Women and Mexico have become driving forces in the progress towards gender equality.

We congratulate UN Women for their 10th anniversary and their dedication in making sure that Beijing+25 will not be a “business as usual" celebration. We also commend Mexico for adopting a feminist foreign policy. France adopted a feminist policy almost a year ago, so we are now mano en la mano with Mexico on another fundamental issue.

France is very proud to be by your side organizing the Generation equality Forum, Juan Ramón. As you know, 2020 is a critical year for women’s rights. And to be frank, the international community is not entirely up to the task. When it comes to women’s rights, if you are not moving forward, you are going backwards - I am afraid this is what is happening today.

The Generation Equality Forum will be an opportunity to reverse this trend. It will be a time to take a stand against the pushback and take new and strong commitments. It will be a time to promote an innovative multi-stakeholder approach, with civil society and private sector.

We are very pleased that the Forum will give broad space to civil society and grass-root organizations. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to Shannon Kowalski, who represents civil society here today.

Of course, to achieve meaningful, sustainable progress, we need the full implication of States as well. This is why we need you dear colleagues. The action coalitions that we will launch in Paris need strong leadership from States. And because no single country has achieved full equality, we need broad geographic representation, North-South, East-West. I am confident you will all find a coalition where your leadership, experience and best practices will be put to good use. Also, for countries that have taken part or are interested in the Biarritz partnership, the Forum will provide an opportunity to present initiatives and commitments taken to fight against discrimination by law or by policy.

If you need any information on how best to contribute to the Forum, please do not hesitate to reach out to us or to UN-Women, who are doing an amazing job. And see you in Mexico in May and in Paris in July.

Thank you./.

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