NATO – Catherine Colonna’s participation in the informal meeting of foreign ministers in Oslo (May 31 – June 1, 2023)
Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna will be in Oslo on May 31 and June 1 for the informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers. The last such meeting, which she also attended and which was marked by Finland’s formal membership in the alliance, took place on April 4 and 5.
This is one of the most important preparatory meetings for the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius on July 11-12. Its informal nature will give the allies a chance to more freely discuss the summit’s main themes, which include support for Ukraine, Sweden’s NATO membership, NATO’s priorities for its southern flank, and the expansion of the Strategic Concept to the Indo-Pacific.
She will convey the following messages:
- On our support for Ukraine: This will be one of the summit’s major themes, and the ministerial meeting will help prepare the announcements that may be made on that occasion. The minister will express our backing for a package of measures that will provide concrete, effective support for Ukraine as it moves toward interoperability with NATO, in full complementarity with EU initiatives. She will reiterate France’s support for the Alliance’s open door policy and Ukraine’s identity as a Euro-Atlantic nation. She will also express support for the establishment of a NATO-Ukraine Council that could meet during the Vilnius summit.
- On Swedish membership: After celebrating Finland’s membership in NATO in Brussels in early April, the Minister will reiterate France’s request for Sweden’s membership to take effect at the Vilnius summit.
- On the southern neighborhood: Commitments were made in Madrid last July with regard to the Alliance’s southern flank. With regard to the Allies’ expectations vis-à-vis migration and terrorism, the minister will call on each of them to make sure that NATO efforts complement those of other international actors and come in response to requests from partners in the region.
- On NATO’s handling of challenges relating to the Indo-Pacific: The minister will emphasize that NATO must remain focused on its mandate, which is the collective defense of the Euro-Atlantic zone.
Ukraine – New Russian airstrikes (May 30, 2023)
France condemns in the strongest possible terms the repeated large-scale Russian missile and drone strikes against Ukraine, which targeted Kyiv three times in the past 24 hours.
These strikes once again deliberately targeted civilian objectives in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. They represent an unacceptable threat to Ukraine’s civilian population, with the latest strikes against Kyiv leaving one person dead and several wounded.
As Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna has stressed repeatedly, these unacceptable actions are war crimes and cannot go unpunished. France will continue to provide support to Ukrainian courts and to the International Criminal Court to combat impunity for such crimes.
France will continue to provide assistance to Ukraine in every area for as long as necessary to help it resist Russia’s illegal aggression.
Uganda – Anti-Homosexuality Act: France expresses its deepest concern (May 30, 2023)
France is deeply troubled by Uganda’s adoption of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. This law institutes harsher penalties for same-sex relations and introduces the death penalty.
As the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy emphasized, it represents a serious violation of human rights and Uganda’s international commitments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which states that “every individual shall have the duty to respect and consider his fellow beings without discrimination.”
France reiterates its call for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality and its opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances. It calls on the Ugandan authorities to renounce this law and expresses its support for all LGBT+ people in Uganda.
Sudan (May 30, 2023)
France deplores the continued fighting between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan. It hails the five-day extension of the ceasefire which starts on May 29, as announced by the United States and Saudi Arabia, but regrets the many previous violations committed by the warring parties. France stresses that it is the two parties’ responsibility to ensure that their troops abide by the commitments signed in Jeddah to observe the cease fire and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Peace will sustainably return to Sudan only if all the Sudanese stakeholders are brought into the process. France calls on the parties to include Sudanese political factions and civil society groups in the discussions as quickly as possible in order to achieve a lasting ceasefire and a political resolution of the crisis.
In this regard, France reaffirms its full support for the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) and for Volker Perthes, the special representative of the UN secretary-general for Sudan and head of UNITAMS.
Somalia – France condemns the attack on the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (May 30, 2023)
France strongly condemns the May 26th attack by Al-Shabaab militants on an African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) base near Buulo Mareer, located in the South West State’s Lower Shabelle region, which took the lives of Ugandan soldiers.
France offers its condolences to the families of the dead soldiers and the Ugandan authorities and stands with the African Union in the fight against terrorism.
International solidarity – Website for the Summit on a New Global Financing Pact goes live (May 25, 2023)
The website for the Summit on a New Global Financing Pact went live on May 25 at https://nouveaupactefinancier.org/en.php. It presents the program, challenges and contact information relating to the organization of the event.
At the invitation of President Macron, the summit will bring together heads of state and government, leaders of major international organizations, representatives of global financial institutions, and private sector and civil society representatives. Its goal is to lay the groundwork for a new financial system, one that is fairer and more solidarity-based, to meet our shared global challenges: the fight against poverty, climate change and the protection of diversity.
This summit, which will take place at the Palais Brongniart in Paris on June 22 and 23, is consistent with the many international meetings that will be held in late 2023, including the G20 summit under the Indian Presidency, the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Marrakech, the UN secretary-general’s summit in New York on the Sustainable Development Goals, and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.
It will enable us to define the principles underlying future reforms and set a course toward a new, more balanced financial partnership between the Global South and North. It will also pave the way for future agreements to combat over-indebtedness and allow more countries to access the financing they need to invest in sustainable development, better protect the environment, lower greenhouse gas emissions and protect populations who are at the greatest risk from ecological crises.