Official speeches and statements - June 11, 2020
1. Tourism - Recovery of the tourism sector in the run-up to the summer season - Reply by M. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly - excerpt (Paris, 09/06/2020)
Tourism in France has indeed been hit very hard by the epidemic crisis. Let people be the judge of it: one month of lockdown means euro10 to euro15 billion less in income for the sector. That’s why the President has pinpointed tourism as a national priority. Far from being a mere slogan, this priority is being reflected in strong action and concrete measures. For example, on 14 May an euro18-billion plan was announced at the cross-ministerial tourism committee: euro9 billion in direct assistance - maintaining partial activity, extending the solidarity fund - and euro9 billion in finance and investment to prepare the tourism of tomorrow, a more sustainable and more digital tourism.
Regarding the summer season, we’re working flat out with the various parts of France, in particular the regions. The reason I’ve launched an appeal for a Â“blue, white and red" summer is precisely to encourage French people to rediscover our land. You can go round the world by touring France; that’s what is tremendous in our country! Along with Atout France, we’ve launched the campaign Â“This summer I’m visiting France".
As for supporting demand, several regions are working on holiday-voucher schemes. You mentioned the initiative by the Occitanie region, but the regions of Nouvelle-Aquitaine - we’re currently working with its president, Alain Rousset -, Grand-Est and Sud are also considering measures to support the tourism sector. I’m confident that within a few days I’ll be able to announce a State support mechanism that will enable us to add even more breadth to the various initiatives by the regions.
As far as foreign tourists are concerned, I say to them: welcome to France! The issue of borders is clear: we’d like to remove obstacles to movement around Europe from 15 June onwards and welcome international customers to our country at the beginning of July. However, we know the recovery will be very gradual. So it’s right to support tourism professionals longer-term, until the end of the year. That’s the whole purpose of the measures we’ve taken - maintaining partial activity and extending the solidarity fund -, which will allow us to provide a view of the way ahead over time.
Regarding transport, French people are currently being offered promotional fares, particularly by the SNCF. Let me also remind you that the annual holiday ticket paid in holiday vouchers allows people to enjoy a 50% reduction on the usual fare. Other, ad-hoc arrangements/measures have also been put in place, including tickets for under euro49.
On motorways, allow me to finish with Didier Barbelivien and this hit from the 1980s: Quitter l’autoroute [Leave the motorway]! It’s time to get back to our good A and B roads to rediscover France’s gems. (...)./.
2. United Nations - ICC/Darfur - Prosecutor briefing on the thirty-first report - Statement in national capacity by the deputy permanent representative of France to the United Nations at the security Council (New York, 10/06/2020)
I too thank Prosecutor Bensouda for her report and presentation. The transfer to the Court of Mr. Ali Kushayb yesterday is an important development for the victims of the crimes committed in Darfur and for international criminal justice, to which France is proud to have been able to contribute, alongside the Governments of the Central African Republic, Chad and the Netherlands.
This step confirms the remarkable work done by the Prosecutor and her teams and highlights the relevance of the Court within the multilateral system. The Court must be able to carry out its missions in complete independence, within the framework of the Rome Statute. The Prosecutor must also be able to exercise her prerogatives without obstruction, threats or attacks.
In this context, we are encouraged by recent statements by the Sudanese authorities expressing their determination to fight impunity and their willingness to cooperate fully with the Court. Effective channels of discussion must now be established to enable an operational response to the Court’s requests. The execution of the other four arrest warrants is essential.
During the period covered by the report, the situation in Darfur remained precarious. France condemns in the strongest possible terms the violence against civilians and violations of international humanitarian law, in particular gender-based and sexual violence and attacks on the staff of humanitarian organizations. We call on the Sudanese authorities to implement their national plan for the protection of civilians.
The protection of human rights and support for the rule of law and accountability are at the heart of the mandate just given by the Security Council to UNITAMS.
The Security Council also renewed the mandate of UNAMID, which continues to play a major role in protecting civilians in Darfur and reporting on human rights violations.
With the opening of several OHCHR offices in the Sudan, including in Darfur, the United Nations should thus be fully able to support the Sudanese authorities in building a fair, democratic and inclusive system.
We once again express the hope that the negotiations between the transitional Government and the armed groups, which are continuing in Juba, will be successful, in order to build a just and lasting peace in the region.
I thank you./.