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Official speeches and statements - September 10, 2020

Published on September 10, 2020

1. European Union - EU-UK relations - Coreper agrees mandate on Channel Tunnel railway safety - Press release issued by the Council of the EU (Brussels - September 9, 2020)

The EU is working on legislation to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the Channel Tunnel railway connection between continental Europe and the United Kingdom (Channel Fixed Link) after the end of the Brexit transition period. Today, the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee agreed on a negotiation mandate on two proposals aimed at maintaining a single safety authority, which would continue to apply the same set of rules over the whole infrastructure, including in its section under UK jurisdiction.

Currently, all matters concerning the operation of the Channel Fixed Link are supervised by an Intergovernmental Commission set up by the Treaty of Canterbury, signed between France and the UK in 1986.

Under the Council mandate, France will be empowered to negotiate an amendment to the Canterbury Treaty and the EU railway safety and interoperability rules will be amended so that the Intergovernmental Commission can be maintained as the safety authority competent for the application of EU law within the Channel Fixed Link.

The draft regulation amending the safety and interoperability provisions will be split into two draft regulations, in order to amend the Statute of the European Court of Justice in a manner that respects the Court’s prerogatives while avoiding a delay in the start of the negotiations.

A swift adoption of the draft decision and draft regulation will allow the prompt start of the talks between France and the UK. The adoption of the amendments to the Statute of the ECJ will be essential at the end of these negotiations, before France is authorized to sign and conclude the actual agreement.

The negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament on the two proposals are taking place as a matter of urgency.

[Source of English text: Council of the EU]

2. United Nations - Implementation of the youth, peace and security resolutions by UN peace operations - Statement by the permanent representative of France to the United Nations Security Council Arria formula meeting (New York - September 9, 2020)

I would first like to thank the speakers that are virtually with us today and pay tribute to all young human rights defenders and activists around the world.

The recent unanimous adoption of resolution 2535 on youth, peace and security, facilitated by the Dominican Republic and France, has been a crucial step. It highlighted the Security Council strong support to the effective and meaningful engagement of youth in the maintenance of peace and security as well as the importance of facilitating spaces for youth full, effective and meaningful participation and leadership in this area.

This resolution calls on the United Nations system, including peacekeeping and special political missions, to coordinate and increase their engagement in the implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security agenda. It also urges all peacekeeping and other relevant United Nations missions to develop and implement context-specific strategies on youth, peace and security, bearing in mind their respective mandates.

France thus calls for the collective, integrated and coordinated implementation of resolution 2535, along with all other resolutions on Youth, Peace and Security. That is the responsibility of the members of the Security Council, but also of the United Nations as a whole.

Young people continue to be victims of stereotypes and discriminations, and remain largely excluded from decision-making processes, political institutions and the labor market. They are sometimes seen only as troublemakers or ground for violent extremism. These stereotypes are too often used as pretexts to ignore their demands and to violate their rights.

In this regard, it is essential to guarantee to young people the respect of their fundamental rights to enable them to fully express their potential. Resolution 2535 marked a significant step forward by strengthening the human rights protection framework for youth working in peace and security as well as the protection of the civic and political space.

France will continue to call for the respect of freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly everywhere and for everyone, in particular by supporting young human rights defenders.

I can also assure you that France will continue to be engaged in ensuring that young people, including young women, are associated in our work at the United Nations. Young people today have shown us that they are ready to be part of the discussion on major global issues - we see it every day in their mobilization against climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. We must now fully support their involvement in the discussions and decisions.

You can count on France’s support and determination.

Je vous remercie.