UN – Catherine Colonna’s visit to New York (Feb. 22-24, 2023)
Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna will be in New York from February 22 to 24.
She will address the UN General Assembly on behalf of France one year after Russia began its war of aggression against Ukraine. On this occasion, the body will vote on a Ukrainian resolution co-sponsored by more than 60 nations, reiterating that the fundamental principles of the UN Charter– territorial integrity, national sovereignty and the non-use of force– are the only possible foundations for a just and lasting peace.
On February 24, Ms. Colonna will also take part in a Security Council meeting at the ministerial level on the situation in Ukraine.
She will have an opportunity to speak with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres about Ukraine as well as several other international crises, and to discuss France and the UN’s commitment to the climate, sustainable development financing and ocean protection.
With Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Ms. Colonna will reaffirm France’s historical and concrete support for peacekeeping operations and their vital role in bringing stability on the ground.
She will also meet with UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell to discuss deportations of Ukrainian children and all the other major violations they are subjected to on a daily basis.
This visit will also allow the minister to expand her discussions with a certain number of her counterparts, particularly her Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.
Ms. Colonna will hold a press conference during her visit on February 23, at approximately 5 p.m. local time.
Freedom of the press – Conversation between Chrysoula Zacharopoulou and Maria Ressa (Feb. 21, 2023)
Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke on February 21 with journalist and 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa, co-founder of the International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM). Established in 2021 at the Paris Peace Forum with France’s support, this fund assists independent media outlets in difficulty, especially in developing countries, and provides funding for initiatives aimed at strengthening the economic ecosystem in which independent media outlets operate.
During their conversation, the minister reaffirmed France’s support for this initiative, which aims to promote quality information worldwide through financial support for independent public interest media. France’s commitment translates into a substantial financial contribution to IFPIM, as the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs announced at the Paris Peace Forum last November. The fact that IFPIM chose to locate its headquarters in Paris reflects the commitment of our country and our diplomatic policies to press freedom and independent media. France’s support for IFPIM is fully in line with the priorities of the International Partnership for Information and Democracy launched by President Macron in September 2019 with Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
The minister underscored the need to strengthen cooperation with IFPIM in the fight against disinformation, which undermines democracy.
UN – France condemns attack on MINUSMA (Feb. 22, 2023)
France strongly condemns the IED attack on a United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) supply convoy southeast of Bandiagara, in central Mali, on February 21. This attack took the lives of three Senegalese peacekeepers and seriously wounded five others. We once again pay tribute to the peacekeepers who risk their lives to protect local populations.
France offers its condolences to the deceased peacekeepers’ loved ones and to the Senegalese authorities. We wish the wounded peacekeepers a speedy recovery.
France applauds MINUSMA’s dedication. Those responsible for this attack must be identified and held accountable.
Burkina Faso – Attacks on Burkina Faso army unit (Feb. 22, 2023)
France strongly condemns the attacks carried out against an army unit in northern Burkina Faso on February 17 and 20.
We express our solidarity with the government of Burkina Faso and offer our condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones.
Iran – Death sentence for Jamshid Sharmahd (Feb. 21, 2023)
The death sentence handed down today against Jamshid Sharmahd, a German-Iranian dual citizen, is unjustifiable and absolutely unacceptable.
France condemns this decision in the strongest possible terms and urges the Iranian authorities to reverse this death sentence.
France offers its solidarity and support to the German authorities and to Mr. Sharmahd’s family.
France reaffirms its unwavering opposition to the death penalty everywhere and in all circumstances and denounces its political use in Iran. France joined with all the EU member states at the EU Foreign Affairs Council on February 20 in calling on Iran to end its arbitrary detention policy.
New Start Treaty
Yesterday, President Putin announced that Russia was suspending its participation in the New Start treaty. Would France be prepared, as an equal partner, to develop a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia and the United States?
Please consult yesterday’s statement.
Armenia / Azerbaijan
Did France send personnel to take part in the EU monitoring mission on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and second, is France aware of the efforts to negotiate an agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh?
As Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna stated, the EU civilian monitoring mission, or EUMA, deployed to Armenia on February 20, includes French personnel.
France supports the negotiations under way between Armenia and Azerbaijan which cover various subjects, including the finalization of a peace treaty between the two countries. It encourages the parties to continue their discussions on a draft peace treaty in a spirit of compromise. It supports the EU’s mediation effort and welcomes the United States’ active commitment on this issue.
As for the question of rights and guarantees for Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenian population, France hopes that negotiations can get under way on this subject as well. Discussions are currently under way on the terms under which such talks could take place.