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Official speeches and statements - August 13, 2020

Published on August 13, 2020

1. Greece - Conversation between M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis, about the situation in the eastern Mediterranean - Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris, 12/08/2020)

The French President spoke to the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis, about the situation in the eastern Mediterranean.

He expressed his concern about the tensions sparked by Turkey’s unilateral decisions regarding oil exploration - [tensions] which must cease in order to enable calm dialogue between neighbouring countries and NATO allies. He reiterated the necessary solidarity of France and the European Union with all member States whose sovereignty is challenged.

Recalling the importance of settling the current disputes through dialogue, the President emphasized the need for greater consultation between Greece and Turkey and in this respect welcomed the mediation initiative set in train by Germany.

In order to get a better grasp of the situation in that region of the Mediterranean and signal his determination to ensure international law is respected, the President has decided to step up temporarily France’s military presence in the eastern Mediterranean in the coming days, in cooperation with European partners, including Greece./.

2. United Nations - Peacebuilding and sustaining peace: pandemics and the challenges of sustaining peace - Statement by Ms. Anne Gueguen chargée d’affaires, deputy permanent representative of France to the United Nations at the security Council (New York, 12/08/2020)

Mr. President,

I thank Indonesia for taking the initiative of this very timely meeting and the speakers for their presentations.

The recent adoption of resolution 2532 on the COVID-19 pandemic, facilitated by Tunisia and France, was a crucial step. It highlighted our collective responsibility and unity in the face of this unprecedented crisis. The Council sent a clear signal in support of the Secretary-General’s appeal. It is also a renewed demand for multilateral collective action.

Mr. President,

The Secretary-General’s call for a leap forward in multilateralism and international solidarity has shown the way. 75 years after the adoption of the Charter, there is an urgent need to revive the spirit of San Francisco.

We must now move from words to deeds. Together with Tunisia, France thus calls for the collective, integrated and coordinated implementation of resolution 2532. That is the responsibility of the members of this Council, but also of the United Nations as a whole, in particular in their commitment to conflict prevention, mediation and humanitarian activities. The Peacebuilding Commission also has an important role to play, and the Peacebuilding Fund is a tool that has proven its relevance and effectiveness, which we fully support.

In that regard, I would like to refer to our responsibility with regard to fragile and crisis-stricken countries. Those countries, whether in conflict or post-conflict situations, are particularly at risk in the context of the pandemic. The COVID and the measures taken to contain it may have fueled tensions, hate speech and even violence. They have generated false rumours, anxiety-provoking stories and misinformation, while some have been tempted to take advantage of the pandemic to restrict civil liberties. The pandemic has also undermined confidence in institutions and the economic resilience of the most vulnerable. It is incumbent upon us to think collectively about how to address these threats.

A key element of stability in these countries is the resilience of their health systems. In that regard, we must support the efforts undertaken by the United Nations and the WHO. The WHO must be strengthened in its normative, warning and coordination role. That does not exclude, when the time comes, drawing lessons from the management of the current crisis and undertaking the necessary reforms.

France is committed alongside the United Nations to support vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19. France has committed 500 million euros to the ACT-A project, which it initiated, to accelerate the development of and access to treatment, diagnostics and vaccines against COVID-19.

Finally, I wish to reiterate the importance of integrating a gender perspective into the response to the crisis we are experiencing, and to pay special attention to women and youth. We must take their specific needs into account in the response to the pandemic and guarantee their full, active and effective participation at all levels of decision-making in order to rebuild in a sustainable and egalitarian manner.

France will actively contribute to this reflection, in particular through the organization in the coming months of the Paris Peace Forum in November 2020 and then, in partnership with UN Women and Mexico, of the Generation Equality Forum.

Mr. President,

As we know, the solution to this crisis and, in the longer term, the construction of lasting peace, lies not in turning inward, but in increased cooperation and the revitalization of the multilateral system. You can count on France’s support and determination. Thank you./.