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Official speeches and statements - July 1, 2020

Published on July 1, 2020

1. Russia - Meeting (by video conference) between Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris - June 26, 2020)

The President had a video conference meeting this afternoon with Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia.

Following the celebrations in Russia of the victory against Nazism, the French President paid tribute to the sacrifices made by the peoples of the Soviet Union during the Second World War, to the 27 million civilian and military victims, and to the memory of the populations of Eastern Europe who were subject, in those dark times of our continent’s history, to unbearable violence.

He also expressed France’s support and solidarity vis-à-vis Russia in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and its health, economic and social consequences. The two presidents emphasized the need to bolster international cooperation.

This in-depth, substantial discussion provided an opportunity to review the dialogue of confidence and security begun nearly a year ago during the Russian President’s visit to France. The French President emphasized his commitment to that dialogue, which has become only more relevant with the pandemic-linked acceleration of the restructuring of global balances and with the assertion of European sovereignty.

The two heads of State welcomed the operational launch of this dialogue, despite the difficulties linked to the health situation, and endorsed the creation of several working groups to achieve concrete progress, including on issues of strategic stability and security on the European continent, on sovereignty technologies and on arms control.

With June 26 marking the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Charter of San Francisco, the two heads of State agreed to pursue their shared commitment with a view to a summit of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, in order to rebuild unity and convergence within that decisive forum for international peace and security.

On Libya, the Head of State highlighted the need to halt the dangerous spiral of foreign interference and the importance of very swiftly consolidating the work begun to bring about a ceasefire, the resumption of the 5+5 military dialogue, and the renewal of political dialogue under the aegis of the United Nations.

On Ukraine, the French President emphasized the importance of quickly relaunching the implementation of the road map agreed on in Paris at the Normandy-format summit of December 9, 2019.

On Syria, the Head of State stressed in particular his concern about the humanitarian situation, aggravated by the pandemic, and the necessity, in this regard, of protecting cross-border mechanisms under the aegis of the United Nations in order to address the urgent needs of civilians.

At bilateral level, the two heads of State agreed to continue the good momentum in revitalizing cooperation projects under way and to strengthen them in the areas of health, environmental and biodiversity protection, and culture. They also signalled their commitment to the dialogue established between our civil societies.

2. Attractiveness - Higher education/universities/ShanghaiRanking Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020: 34 French institutions distinguished - Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (Paris - June 29, 2020)

Following today’s 2020 edition of the ShanghaiRanking Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, welcomes the success achieved by French higher education institutions, more than 34 of which feature in this annual edition.

For the first time, the ranking recognizes experimental institutions newly created following the "State in the service of a trust society" act, particularly Paris-Saclay University, the Université Paris Sciences et Lettres and Université de Paris.

Paris-Saclay University is thus ranked among the world’s 100 best universities in 25 subjects. Sorbonne University is ranked 21 times, Université Grenoble Alpes 17 times, Paris Sciences et Lettres 13 times and Université de Paris 9 times.

Among the world’s 50 best universities, the Ministry is pleased to see 18 French institutions recognized at the highest international level: Sorbonne University is ranked in 12 different subjects, Paris-Saclay University 10 times, and Paris Sciences et Lettres, the Université de Paris and the Université Grenoble Alpes are each ranked 5 times.

Frédérique Vidal especially welcomes the performance by Paris-Saclay University, which comes first in the ranking for mathematics, ahead of Princeton University in the United States, showing France’s excellence in the subject. The University of Montpellier ranks second in the world for ecology and Sorbonne University is in third place for oceanography, which testifies to our universities’ and research lecturers’ steadfast commitment to environmental and climate issues.

The new policy of grouping institutions together, which has been implemented by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation since 2018 and supports the creation of new experimental institutions, is thus demonstrating its relevance by at last highlighting the scientific potential of our universities, which are at the forefront internationally alongside the world’s leaders.

The Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation would like to congratulate all the institutions ranked and their teams.

3. United Nations - COVID-19 - Joint statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and Mr. Kaïs Kabtani, Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations (July 1, 2020)

The unanimous adoption today by the Security Council of resolution 2532 on the COVID-19 pandemic, echoing the call of the Secretary-General for a global ceasefire, marks an important milestone.

Tunisia and France would like to thank all the members of the Security Council for their support and their spirit of compromise, which enable the Council to fully play its role in this unprecedented time.

Indeed, the engagement of the Security Council will be critical to mitigate the peace and security implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. This resolution is setting clear priorities: a cessation of hostilities, a humanitarian pause and solidarity to face the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no alternative to fight effectively the pandemic.

In this regard, France and Tunisia would like to pay tribute to the different UN entities, including the World Health Organization, which are playing a key role in the response to the pandemic. We would like also to commend the remarkable work of peacekeepers in difficult conditions.

The adoption of a resolution is never an end in itself. This resolution has now to be implemented. France and Tunisia will remain fully mobilized to ensure it, as our Ministers will reaffirm tomorrow at the open VTC on pandemics and security organized by the German presidency. The updates by the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the UN efforts to address the pandemic in countries in situations of armed conflict or affected by humanitarian crises will in this regard be essential.

The adoption of this resolution is also of high symbolic importance in the sense that it proves that should there be political will, Council members are able to go beyond their divergent views, prioritize the interest of international community and deliver a message of unity.

In this regard, it should be considered as a renewed faith in diplomacy and multilateralism.

4. United Nations - Non-proliferation - Statement in national capacity by the permanent representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council (New York - June 30, 2020)

I would like to thank the Secretary-General, the US Secretary of State and the Iranian Foreign Minister for their participation. Thanks also to the briefers for their interventions.

Our priority remains to ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons. This is a proliferation issue, and therefore a peace and security issue, that affects and concerns us all. That is why France, Germany and the United Kingdom have been working since 2003 to resolve the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program. And we were able to find a way out of this crisis in 2015, thanks to the perseverance of the international community, and to the convergence from 2006 towards the line taken by the E3, and to the robust dialogue with Iran.

The Security Council not only endorsed the Vienna Agreement (JCPoA) by resolution 2231, but also validated a method, that of pragmatic and demanding multilateralism, a method that was then carried by its five permanent members, in unity, steadfastly and exemplarily.

We all take the measure of the challenges of the moment. The trajectories of the signatory States have diverged since the United States left the agreement, to our great regret and concern. After that, Iran has, worryingly, taken measures that are contrary to its commitments under the agreement. These have serious proliferation consequences - which is why the E3s activated the JCPoA dispute resolution mechanism in January this year: to address this serious problem, but to address it within the framework of the agreement.

France, Germany and the United Kingdom have fully implemented their commitments. We remain committed to preserving the agreement and to continuing discussions to bring Iran back to full compliance with its commitments under the JCPoA. This requires constructive engagement by Iran and by all.

We have just heard the very worrying confirmation of Iran’s violations of the provisions of resolution 2231 on arms transfers. The Secretary-General’s conclusions, which we support, are consistent with our assessment. Let me be clear: these destabilizing activities, which we have condemned, are unacceptable and must stop.

As the E3 Berlin ministerial declaration of June 19 testifies, France, together with Germany and the United Kingdom, understands and shares the concerns regarding the implications of the upcoming expiration of the embargo on conventional arms provided for in resolution 2231. We have expressed our readiness to explore constructive options to address our common concerns, including outside this Council. We intend to address this issue in close consultation with all members of this Council, in particular the remaining participants in the JCPoA and other key actors.

We will continue to be guided by the following objectives: respect for the authority and integrity of the United Nations Security Council and commitment to regional stability and security. We would not, however, support unilateral proposals leading to the return of sanctions. They would only deepen divisions in the Security Council and beyond and would not be likely to improve the situation on the ground of nuclear non-proliferation.

As the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom stated in Berlin on 19 June, "we firmly believe that any unilateral attempt to trigger UN sanctions snapback would have serious adverse consequences in the UNSC. We would not support such a decision which would be incompatible with our current efforts to preserve the JCPoA."

All members of this Council share fundamental security interests. They bring us together around shared objectives and responsibilities. That is the raison d’être of this Council and the spirit that drives us all. I therefore want to believe that none of us would risk a backsliding that would exacerbate tensions in the Middle East. The JCPoA, which is the result of compromise, can of course be seen as an instrument that can be improved. But there is as yet no serious alternative to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; and its disappearance would improve neither the regional situation nor the security of our populations.

We certainly have differences of approach. But it is together that we must build a comprehensive strategy on all aspects of the Iranian issue, with our eyes open, without naivety, with pragmatism and lucidity. It is this long-term objective that we wish to prioritize, while preserving the international order based on law, of which we are the guarantors. Thank you.