Official speeches and statements - September 28, 2020
1. Seventy-fifth United Nations general Assembly - High Level Side Event on the humanitarian impact of combined conflict, climate and environmental risks - Statement by Mr Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, minister of state for tourism, French nationals abroad and Francophonie (New York - September 25, 2020)
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
Climate change is a source of social, economic and political destabilization. The increasing scarcity of natural resources and rise of unusual and extreme climatic phenomena provoke serious tensions that can escalate into conflicts. They undermine the most vulnerable communities and societies, the limited means of subsistence of which depend directly on the stability and foreseeability of their natural environment. These phenomena are already causing internal displacements, cross-border migratory movements and increasing humanitarian, food and nutritional needs. The international community therefore needs to create science-based instruments to analyze, consult and cooperate and respond to the risks caused by climate change.
In this spirit, France and its European partners have asked the UN Secretary-General to produce a report every two years on the security consequences of climate change. France also proposes the inclusion of recommendations for tangible actions in the Secretary-General’s biannual report, and is working to ensure that UN resolutions, including those of the Security Council, highlights the importance of fighting climate change.
The UN will have to foster the adaptation of communities, and resilience to climate change. As such, the activities of the Climate and Security Mechanism need to be stepped up, in particular with the appointment of a Special Envoy for climate security. Humanitarian actors too must adopt climate change adaptation and climate risk prevention strategies.
The "Climate Risks and Early Warning Systems (CREWS)" initiative, launched by France at COP21, addresses this aim. CREWS seeks to improve prevention and information about the risks of hydro-meteorological and climatic events, and thus protect the lives, livelihoods and property of vulnerable populations. More generally, France is very engaged in dialogue with its humanitarian partners, including UN agencies and NGOs, concerning both the consequences of climate change for humanitarian situations and the mode of action of humanitarian actors.
The impact and acceleration of climate change mean that the short term of humanitarian emergencies can no longer be considered separately from the long term of climate issues. The terms of humanitarian assistance and of environmental protection have to be considered together. During its next National Humanitarian Conference scheduled for December, France will invite humanitarian actors to debate this subject.
In this global context, where climate change and conflicts are a vicious cycle and undermine security, the development of global environmental responsibility is increasingly necessary and will benefit all.
Good morning to all of you,
Today, no one can no longer ignore climate change, the degradation of ecosystems, the massive extinction of species.
No one can turn a blind eye to the state of global emergency for nature and for all our human societies.
Yes, we are at a turning point in our history. What we decide today can change the destiny of the world.
So I am very happy that this summit of leaders for nature and people is taking place.
Because if the consequences of our inaction are known, so are the solutions for action.
Yes, we need a general mobilization of the international community to act and meet the challenges of our century.
We need a concrete and ambitious multilateralism to stop the fall forward, to restore and respect this nature without which we have no future.
Today, with this commitment that France has signed, a strong signal is being sent.
To all of you, I say: let us join forces, let us regroup, let us act together, let us be ambitious and determined, let us be at the rendez-vous of history.
France is deeply concerned about the large-scale clashes which have broken out in Nagorno-Karabakh and reports of civilian casualties in particular. It calls for the immediate cessation of hostilities and the resumption of dialogue.
In its capacity as Co-Chair of the Minsk Group, France, with its Russian and American partners, reiterates its commitment to reaching a negotiated, lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, with due regard for international law.
We were deeply shocked to learn of the deaths of 26 people in yesterday’s plane crash in Ukraine.
We express our condolences to the victims’ families and close friends, as well as France’s sincere solidarity with its Ukrainian partner.
France stands ready to provide Ukraine with any assistance it deems useful in these circumstances.
Since July, France has repeatedly asked for an international mission under the auspices of the UN to visit Xinjiang to report on concerns over the situation of the Muslim Uighur minority. What are you doing to promote this initiative?
THE SPOKESPERSON - Indeed, we along with our EU partners have spoken out repeatedly to strongly condemn this unacceptable situation. We have called for the closing of the internment camps in Xinjiang and the dispatch of an international mission of independent observers under the supervision of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to investigate on the ground and report objectively on the facts. President Macron reiterated our demand during his speech before the UN General Assembly this week. France will remain active in this regard, both in its bilateral contacts with Chinese officials and within the UN, notably before the Human Rights Council. It will continue to support this demand ahead of the upcoming EU-China dialogue on human rights, scheduled to be held by the end of the year. (...)
The President has once again asked, before the UN, for prompt clarification from Russia concerning the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, adding that France would enforce its red lines. Is this rhetoric or are you considering a concrete response, given that Russia is sticking to its positions?
THE SPOKESPERSON - As the President said in his speech before the UN General Assembly, we expect Russia to fully investigate the assassination attempt that took place on its territory against a member of the Russian political opposition by means of a neurotoxin from the Novichok family, developed by Russia. Those responsible for this criminal act must be identified and prosecuted. France is in close touch with its partners, and especially Germany, to coordinate our response to this serious attack on international norms within the appropriate fora. (...)