Portugal – Laurence Boone’s participation in the meeting of European affairs ministers from Atlantic seaboard nations (May 23, 2023)
Laurence Boone, Minister of State for Europe, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will be in Porto, Portugal, on May 23 to take part in the meeting of European affairs ministers from Atlantic seaboard nations at the invitation of Portugal’s State Secretary for European Affairs, Tiago Antunes.
They will discuss strengthening the EU’s strategic autonomy as well as EU enlargement and its consequences, particularly those of an institutional nature.
This meeting will be attended by Carsten Gronbech, Denmark’s State Secretary for European Affairs and the Arctic; Pascual Ignacio Navarro Rios, Spain’s State Secretary for the European Union; Peter Burke, Ireland’s Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for EU Affairs; and Dutch Deputy Foreign Minister Anita van den Ende. Belgium will also be represented.
Sudan – Warring factions sign a seven-day ceasefire in Jeddah (May 22, 2023)
France welcomes the May 20th signing of an agreement by representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces that provides for a weeklong ceasefire to take effect this evening, as well as humanitarian arrangements.
We call on the parties to fully implement all the provisions included in this agreement and to abide by the ceasefire in order to ensure the safety of civilians and allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
France commends the United States’ and Saudi Arabia’s dedication to finalizing this agreement, as well as that of all of our regional and international partners – in particular the United Nations, the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the Arab League and its member states – to bring an end to the fighting.
France emphasizes that only by including all Sudanese stakeholders can a lasting peace return to Sudan. It calls on the parties to open their discussions to Sudanese political factions and civil society representatives as quickly as possible in order to achieve a lasting ceasefire and a political resolution to the crisis.
Chemical weapons – Fifth Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (May 19, 2023)
France deplores the fact that the Fifth Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) ended on May 19 without adopting a final document by consensus because of deliberate obstruction by Russia and Syria. Those nations prevented an agreement on a final document, rejecting the work carried out by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
France applauds the relentless efforts of OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias, the chairperson of the Working Group for the Preparation of the Fifth Review Conference, the Conference chair, and all the States parties that have worked to advance the fight against the re-emergence of chemical weapons. Those efforts will not be in vain, because the session that just ended in The Hague emphasized the nearly entire international community’s support for an absolute prohibition on the use of these inhumane weapons.
The Chemical Weapons Convention, whose signing 30 years ago we celebrated in Paris on January 13, is about to achieve one of its initial goals, with the total destruction a few months ago of the chemical weapons stockpiles that were declared when it entered in force. The adoption of a final document would have been an opportunity to highlight this major success for the organization while providing new directions, at a time when we are facing new challenges and threats, especially due to the re-emerging use of chemical weapons.
During the upcoming sessions of the Executive Council and the Conference of States Parties, we will continue to work with all the delegations to achieve tangible results, building on the accomplishments of the Review Conference and harnessing all the potential offered by the new Centre for Chemistry and Technology.