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Speech by Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and International Affairs, on the convention of ambassadors (Paris, 2 Sept. 22)

Paris, 2 September 2022


Committee Chairs,

Members of Parliament,



Administrators, pricey pals, women and gents,

Right here we’re for a plenary Convention of Ambassadors for the primary time since 2019. It’s after all an immense honour to return to this setting as Minister for Europe and International Affairs, however additionally it is a pleasure to return to this discussion board for discussions and reflection that we have been disadvantaged of for too lengthy. I wish to say, most easily, that I’m happy that we’re all collectively once more, as a result of we’ve got actually lacked contact during the last three years. These years have been marked by many difficulties and tragedies, and I would love specifically to pay tribute to the reminiscence of two ambassadors who’ve died in current months: Renaud Salins and Emmanuel Cocher. They’re in all our ideas. I do know you miss them, and all of us miss them.

This Ministry is particular in that three quarters of its workers are overseas. Its members kind a group that should meet to speak, to see the larger image, and to mirror collectively. And that’s the objective and the curiosity of those conferences which were held for nearly 30 years.

Yesterday, the President of the Republic recommended your work during the last three years, marked by unprecedented crises, public well being crises and safety crises. And in his footsteps, I wish to begin by expressing my complete admiration for the work accomplished by our community throughout the two years of the pandemic, and thus by you and your groups, to repatriate a whole lot of hundreds of our residents, to come back to the rescue of French nationals in issue, and to steer groups in periods of confinement and restricted motion. That has not all the time been easy. This disaster has demonstrated, if it wanted demonstrating, the distinctive responsiveness, effectivity and devotion of all our workers.

However the two years of the pandemic have additionally stopped diplomacy functioning usually. Diplomacy is about contact, and we’ve got been disadvantaged of that. Fewer conferences, fewer discipline visits and fewer ministerial visits that no videoconference or written communication can substitute. It’s troublesome to achieve convergence of views on Zoom, to persuade our contacts on Groups, or to barter successfully on Webex. And personally, I think that this drop-off in in-person diplomacy could also be a partial rationalization of the rise in misunderstandings and tensions and the aggravation of the world’s problems.

There was an absence of contact between us, and in addition throughout worldwide society.

We’re in a world the place confrontation is now on the forefront, and that’s my first level. This world requires us to say ourselves in a combative diplomacy, and even, because the President mentioned yesterday, “fight diplomacy”, the form of which I’ll current later, earlier than discussing the world view of this diplomacy and the imaginative and prescient it would defend. That requires us, as you realize, to prepare effectively and to make sure we’ve got the assets we have to perform our work efficiently.

My first level is that the world we shall be working in shouldn’t be merely a world of intense competitors. It’s a world the place the sphere of confrontation has expanded. We’ve got to know that and reply.

Over the past Convention of Ambassadors, in 2019, the President described a world in profound transformation: shaken balances, lawless financial globalization, a world agenda overturned by the digital revolution and the ecological emergency, a Europe at a crossroads, and a global order below strain.

That evaluation could have appeared sobering. Nevertheless it was correct. President Macron spoke yesterday of the danger of outdated fault traces in the end fragmenting the worldwide stage in the long run, which might have implications for us. It’s our job to keep away from such fragmentation. However the development is there. Suppose again to the place we have been in 2019, after we held our final plenary convention, with the primary steps of the Wagner Group within the Central African Republic. It’s now current in Mali, Ukraine, and little question elsewhere. Consider the multiplication of cyber incidents, in opposition to hospitals, city halls, corporations of all sizes, and in opposition to States. And we’ve got simply, as you realize, assisted Montenegro, which has suffered large cyber assaults. Consider the misinformation unfold by our adversaries at each latitude. Consider the tensions in maritime areas, from the Jap Mediterranean to the South China Sea.

We should not be naive. We aren’t leaving a world of order and concord to enter a brand new world of battle. Worldwide life has all the time been made up of agreements but in addition, so, so many crises, wars and tensions.

However there’s a novelty: conflict. Struggle returned to the European continent when six months in the past, Russia selected to launch a navy aggression in opposition to Ukraine. What does this conflict inform us? It tells us {that a} State, a everlasting member of the UN Safety Council, no much less, can violate its personal commitments and essentially the most elementary authorized ideas of the Constitution of the United Nations. It tells us that imperialist goals are again, with six months of conflict already, to take possession of the neighbour’s territory.

The chimera chased by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, that of restoration of the Empire, is destroying all frameworks. The authorized framework, as I used to be saying, because the Constitution of the United Nations and the Budapest Memorandum are being brazenly flouted. The ethical framework, as we’re seeing atrocities and conflict crimes on a scale unprecedented in Europe for the reason that conflicts that tore aside former Yugoslavia. And the political framework, with Russia brazenly threatening world meals safety and vitality safety and the safety of the nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia in an effort to obtain his objectives of conquest.

We’ve got chosen to assist Ukraine defend its sovereignty, its independence and its territorial integrity, as a result of Russia has, in attacking it, attacked the very ideas of the worldwide order. It has additionally attacked a State pushed by the will to reside in freedom and peace, a State whose heroic resistance is a blinding expression of its aspiration to freedom. I noticed the energy and dedication of that resistance on the bottom in Kyiv, which I’ve already visited twice: first just a few days after taking workplace, then alongside the President, after we initiated a joint go to along with his German, Italian and Romanian counterparts.

As you realize, we are going to stand with Ukraine for so long as it takes. We’ve got chosen to help Ukraine as a result of it’s combating for values we share: the values that unite our democracies, and those who Russia needs to destroy.

That’s what units apart this new imperialism: it’s pushed by a ruthless ideological agenda. It assaults not solely the territories of different States, but in addition a mannequin of society, ours, and all the things that could be seen as an existential risk by an authoritarian energy. Past the battle in Ukraine, the shrinkage of democratic house is a temptation with penalties you could see with your individual eyes in your posts. From Venezuela to Afghanistan, from Mali to Belarus, limits are being imposed on civil society. Opposition forces are being gagged, press freedom is being worn away, the independence of the judiciary is dropping floor, and equal rights are now not assured.

By definition, authoritarian regimes are, given their very building, extra immediate to danger direct confrontation. That has implications for us. The shift from a democratic authorities to a navy junta brings with it a temptation of aggressiveness. In Mali, for instance, we’re seeing armed terrorist teams progress throughout the nation, whereas the regime, run by the perpetrators of a two-fold coup d’état, lashes out in opposition to Denmark someday, Côte d’Ivoire the following, and all the time France, in an try to distract from the truth that it’s taking part in by ear, going from failure to failure, attached with a gaggle of Russian mercenaries. But in January 2013, it was France that, by means of its intervention, stopped Bamako struggling the destiny of Mosul a yr later.

Our democracies themselves are dealing with currents that weaken them in a context of rising polarization. International powers are fomenting division between us. Brexit was in there pursuits, simply as it’s of their pursuits to see jingoism and separatism develop in our societies.

That can to carry battle about all the things now extends to a fantastic many fields.

The pandemic disaster from 2019 to 2021 clearly confirmed that, within the face of a world public well being problem, the temptation of “each man for himself” was nonetheless there. On the peak of the disaster, we noticed international locations make the most of their significance within the manufacturing of well being items and tools for political functions.

Additionally it is true that the implications of local weather change for assets are resulting in new energy balances. China’s large purchases of agricultural land on all continents show how sure powers are getting ready and appearing.

Tomorrow, new areas could also be affected by these developments: the excessive seas, the place actual plundering of assets is growing and the place freedom of navigation is challenged extra daily; outer house and the poles, the place, thus far, we’ve got managed to keep away from essentially the most highly effective actors setting down the regulation; and biodiversity itself, management of which might turn out to be a safety situation.

But what we’re seeing is that the need to hunt compromises is dropping floor a little bit additional daily, confronted with the will to impose views with out compromise, or to just accept impasse. We noticed that just some days in the past when Russia, Russia alone, blocked the adoption of a consensual closing doc on a safety problem widespread to all States.

My second level is that, on this degraded atmosphere, we might want to assert a combative diplomacy.

Every of our residents can really feel that in the present day: we’re at a critical second, a turning level, as we regularly say, for world balances, and a second at which our diplomacy might want to deal with the important pursuits of the nation and defend them with our property. These are additionally your property: the competence, dedication, versatility and universality of the community, nice integration and affect in multilateral boards, and in addition dedication and combativeness.

To do this, we will depend on our alliances and partnerships which are actual energy multipliers. These alliances and partnerships must be strengthened and deepened, however we additionally, as I used to be saying yesterday, must renew and diversify them. Nothing needs to be taken without any consideration.

Our first centre of gravity, the obvious, is Europe.

And with Laurence Boone’s help, I’ll totally commit myself to it. Our prosperity and our safety rely to begin with on the achievements of the European Union. On a deeper stage, our democratic life depend upon them as a result of our Europe is a free group based mostly on the rule of regulation. And I say this very adamantly, crises won’t make us neglect what is important. There shall be no lower in our ambition, no renunciation of the phrases and circumstances, no tolerance for individuals who need European funds however don’t settle for Europe’s basis: democracy and freedoms.

To fulfil this mission and in opposition to this troublesome worldwide backdrop, we want a robust Europe, a strong Europe. Whether or not it involves vitality, defence or essentially the most vital worth chains, we’re now not the one ones in Europe to suppose this. We’ve got made nice strides. When conflict broke out at our doorstep, all of the Member States reacted as Europeans. We succeeded collectively, all through our Presidency of the Council, to take motion to help Ukraine within the face of Russia, in all areas: sanctions of an unprecedented scale, navy help, the welcome of refugees, humanitarian help, the battle in opposition to impunity, large financial help, and help for grain exports, together with 10 million tonnes that have been capable of depart Ukraine because of the solidarity hall. We’ve got accomplished this whereas accelerating the sovereignty agenda within the vitality, navy, digital and commerce sectors, which have been on the coronary heart of our agenda of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Its end result, as you all are conscious, was tremendously recommended, from the strategic compass to the local weather package deal, and adoption of the elemental DSA and DMA, which laid the foundations for a public digital order, which is European in the present day and shall be world tomorrow.

This European mobilization and determination was properly famous by our pals, our enemies and those that merely watch what we’re doing, with out taking sides. They’re all watching us. For energy, as you realize, manifests itself in how others understand us. We should always preserve this in thoughts.

However our work shouldn’t be accomplished. Europe should conduct three revolutions to turn out to be what I’d name not solely a strong Europe however a full-powered Europe, which is just the situation and the instrument of our independence.

Firstly, constructing our nationwide and collective defence capabilities. Actual progress and substantial commitments have been made. Within the coming months we have to translate them into concrete motion. I’m pondering of the implementation of the joint weapons procurement instrument introduced by Commissioner Thierry Breton, which may be very needed, a European fast deployment capability by 2025 and joint armament programmes. There can’t be a strong Europe and not using a defence Europe. And there can’t be a defence Europe with out defence budgets. The will increase introduced by international locations akin to Germany, after all, but in addition Sweden and the Netherlands, and to a lesser extent Spain and others, and the top of the Danish decide out, are tangible actions that needs to be recommended and inspired.

This defence Europe is clearly not outlined as a substitute for NATO. From this standpoint, I’m proud to have advocated on behalf of the Authorities for the invoice ratifying the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO, two new European members which can strengthen our Alliance.

The second revolution is that of the European Union’s vitality independence. Within the coming months, we are going to steadily scale back our collective dependence on Russian oil after which gasoline. European solidarity is organized for the winters forward. However extra have to be accomplished. Whereas Russia is taking full benefit of vitality as a weapon to destabilize Europe, whereas China is methodically taking management of the worth chains within the space of renewable vitality, we’ve got no different selection however to speed up: to diversify our provide, step up the event of recent decarbonized vitality manufacturing capacities, together with nuclear vitality, and resume debate on limiting the buying worth of sure imported sources.

The third revolution below method is that of a strategic Europe. The European Union made a historic determination granting candidate standing to Ukraine and Moldova. It additionally lastly launched accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. Our strategic curiosity is to safe as solidly as attainable the Western Balkans to the European Union. And since the trail to accession is demanding, President Macron has proposed a European Political Group, which might not be a substitute nor another, however that can reply to the pressing must handle collectively the challenges that concern the whole European continent past the European Union alone: safety, well being, connectivity, and vitality, to call just a few examples.

Lastly, this widespread strategic strategy ought to strengthen our unity. The gradual however regular decline of the previous 17+1 format ought to on this regard be excellent news. This exhibits {that a} rising variety of Member States perceive that united, we could have extra impression. And the gradual introduction of unbiased industrial defence devices displays our collective will to guard our inner market. For instance, when Lithuania is focused, that is what we did, whereas utilizing Europe’s energy of enchantment to speak our personal truthful and lasting competitors guidelines. The brand new European guidelines on reciprocity, combating overseas funds, and shortly I hope, financial coercion, are all a part of this intention. It isn’t solely the top of innocence, a phrase used a fantastic deal on the Ministry for Europe and International Affairs, in its European half, it isn’t solely the top of innocence, however the begin of a counter-offensive.

We should always more than likely add our personal inner revolutions to those three European ones. We’ve got satisfied everybody that sovereign Europe is a reputable intention. This was no straightforward process simply 5 years in the past, as I used to be capable of point out briefly earlier. We had a excessive stage of ambition – truly, very excessive – for our Presidency of the Council of the European Union. We added the mandatory impetus and at occasions shook up the dogmas of our companions. A brand new part is starting, we handed over the baton; a part through which we needs to be much more attentive to how the opposite States view Europe. Then, we should pursue reflection, as is the observe, on the way in which the European Union works and attainable institutional changes. President Macron has emphasised this on a number of events: there have to be no taboos on this regard. As a result of in the long run, all the things that makes Europe able to appearing extra successfully serves our nationwide curiosity. The road is evident.

To take action, we must always, after all, work with Germany, and the President confirmed yesterday how the discourse of Chancellor Scholz might open up, for us as properly, new potentialities. We should always make the most of the interval that’s beginning to outline and implement a typical highway map that can allow us to additional strengthen our bilateral relationship. The upcoming French-German Council Ministers shall be a key second for this widespread ambition. I wish to recall that we are going to rejoice subsequent January the sixtieth anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, which has sealed the friendship between our two international locations. I wish to proceed collectively on this framework to assist strengthen an inclusive, sovereign, efficient, forward-looking European Union in order to not impose a French-German imaginative and prescient on others, however to make sure that the French-German duo can make sure the function of driving pressure that’s so vital and even indispensable for my part.

After the European Union, our different fastened factors are our allies and strategic companions.

Our alliances and our partnerships are in a method our diplomatic capital. We’ve got inherited some, we’ve got constructed new ones and we must always proceed to take action.

Firstly, the transatlantic partnership to which the conflict in Ukraine has given renewed significance. France will proceed to be an exemplary ally. Current within the discipline, within the Baltic international locations in addition to Romania as a part of reassurance measures for European companions within the jap flank, it acts in a single case in shut relation with the UK and Germany, and within the different as a framework nation, with our Belgian and Dutch companions. Whether or not their framework be NATO or defence Europe, the strengthening of ties between European nations all the time contributes to our collective safety. France may also proceed to require the identical coherence within the face of these amongst our allies which admire the safety cowl of the Alliance however work to bypass sanctions or cooperate militarily with its extra direct adversary, Russia.

We should always proceed to consolidate our partnerships, in every single place France is current, by means of its abroad territories, beginning with the Indo-Pacific.

Asia – which many individuals are speaking about, and which I wish to speak about as properly – is clearly a area that’s the focus of intense competitors amongst powers. Sooner or later it could turn out to be a area of confrontation, which we noticed just a few weeks in the past with the navy drills performed by China close to Taiwan, through which missiles have been fired, a few of which landed within the unique financial zone of Japan.

On this area of the world, France will proceed to work for strategic autonomy of all of the powers that adhere to those shared ideas of regulation of a global order based mostly on the rule of regulation. India clearly is and can proceed to be a necessary associate in Asia: for the previous quarter of a century, an distinctive strategic partnership has certain us to this nation, based mostly on the widespread need for autonomy furthering worldwide stability.

India is essentially the most profitable instance of this partnership as equals that President Macron talked about yesterday. Tomorrow, Indonesia could also be a brand new main associate. And we’re constructing with Australia a brand new optimistic relationship after the intense undermining of our safety partnership by the previous Australian authorities. As a part of the particular partnership which binds us to Japan, we’re lastly growing goals that mirror what this nation represents in the present day within the Indo-Pacific area.

On the similar time, we needs to be doing extra within the South Pacific, the place a brand new “nice recreation” is being performed. The third referendum in New Caledonia, which confirmed that this archipelago would stay a part of the Republic, reminds us how laborious our nation should work with its neighbouring islands, the Minister for the Armed Forces instructed a few of us this yesterday, as a result of we face widespread challenges relating to safety, the preservation of assets and local weather change adaptation.

Simply as strategic for our nation and for Europe is the partnership with Africa. We should proceed the transformation of the ties that bind us to this neighbouring continent.

Identical to the remainder of the world, Africa is experiencing crises, however within the years forward, will probably be at the start a mess of partnerships to invent, and cooperation alternatives to develop. Right here additionally, we should proceed to rework our strategy within the framework of renewed partnerships amongst equals, based mostly on the wants expressed by our companions, and in addition those who we ourselves can specific. We all know that on this continent, new competitors is rising, a few of which is aggressive or unscrupulous. For our half, we should study to take motion on this more and more aggressive space. It’s as much as us to point out that we’re the suitable associate, and the extra dependable and respectful one, a associate who shall be there on days of success and within the laborious occasions.

Our coverage will all the time be based mostly on these two pillars: appearing alongside States, partaking in direct dialogue with younger folks, businesspeople and all the strengths of civil societies, to raised perceive and to be higher understood, and to take higher motion.

Performing alongside States means confirming our dedication to help peace, safety, good governance and growth, as I did in Niger in July, with the Minister for the Armed Forces. We will due to this fact stay current, alongside the African States that so want, and in help of the wants they specific sovereignly, to help them in fulfilling their reputable ambitions. Our help to financial, and particularly agricultural, growth, our official growth help within the discipline of infrastructure, well being and schooling; all this shall be undertaken collectively. African States are amongst a few of the worst affected by local weather change. They’re additionally among the many youngest of the planet. They due to this fact have particular wants and expectations, that we will and should assist them fulfil. And if there are companions, we are going to present what is critical, as a result of our assets devoted to growth will proceed to develop.

Taking motion alongside States additionally means strengthening our cooperation with African regional organizations, and at the start the African Union. It additionally means supporting regional integration and regional peace and safety efforts. One other component is selling a extra political partnership between the European Union and the African Union. There’s work to be accomplished. We performed our half final February, within the framework of the European Union-African Union Summit of Heads of State and Authorities.

Taking motion alongside States, conversing with residents, partaking in dialogue specifically with the extremely artistic, revolutionary and promising younger folks, who symbolize the vast majority of Africa’s inhabitants – that was the endeavor introduced in Ouagadougou in 2017, confirmed in Montpellier in 2021, and extra just lately, throughout President Macron’s journey to Cameroon, Benin, Guinea-Bissau and, final week, Algeria. This laid the framework for the transformation of our relationship with the African continent, with an ambition to invent the longer term collectively.

Tackling the longer term collectively usually means starting by navigating our shared previous collectively – as you might be already conscious. We should proceed the work on remembrance which has already begun with Rwanda, Cameroon and Algeria. On the cultural stage, let’s be much more bold in constructing high-quality museum cooperation specifically. We additionally need to help creative creation in all its varieties: from literature to plastic arts. The President spoke about it yesterday.

This additionally implies capitalizing on the diasporas, and I would love them to be centre-stage on this effort to resume our strategy. So work with them, search out their concepts and their expertise; on the bottom, they are going to be highly effective representatives for you. David Diop, Alain Mabanckou and Djailou Amadou Amal, who gained the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, for instance, are the faces and voices of France, who specific with nice depth and finesse the complexity and the facility of the ties between Europe and Africa. They’re important cultural brokers.

Our change of strategy should additionally contain a change of picture, as a result of as we all know properly, the picture we ship out to the world, and notably this a part of the world, is strategic. We should dismantle false representations and put a cease to lies, however we should additionally take again management of our personal narrative and picture. Two days in the past, the Council of Ministers appointed an envoy accountable for public diplomacy in Africa, with the precise process of sharing greatest practices, offering recommendation on potential actions, and making certain that France’s initiatives and actions are higher taken into consideration in public opinion. Your private involvement is critical, and I’d even say it might play a deciding function.

This brings me to my third level. Our diplomatic motion, our European motion, and our partnerships serve a imaginative and prescient: that there needs to be one shared humanity.

The primary component of our shared humanity is our equal aspiration to rights and freedoms.

You’re the representatives of the Republic, a deeply democratic State, with a Structure which reminds us within the preamble that “Males are born and stay free and equal in rights.” Defending freedom can also be a problem of nationwide curiosity, confronted with the rising variety of assaults from outdoors. I discussed it earlier than: I’m speaking about all those that, whether or not State or non-State actors, intention to trigger issues in our nation, by manipulating public opinion, sowing division or supporting separatism in our society. It’s the similar obscurantist hand that struck Charlie Hebdo and Salman Rushdie. It have to be stopped.

There’s additionally a global dimension right here. France has by no means been a disciple of democratic interventionism. To cite the phrases of President Macron yesterday, it really works with out calls for or interference. Nevertheless it does work.

Our overseas coverage due to this fact incorporates the query of democracy and rights, as a result of we maintain the assumption that each human being is equally worthy of having fun with primary rights. That’s what we do, for instance, within the Human Rights Council. No person ought to have to just accept to reside with out freedom. The nice Soviet creator, Vassili Grossman, dared to write down that in his novel, Life and Destiny, a studying of which in in the present day’s context is especially enlightening, even needed. I quote: “Man’s innate craving for freedom could be suppressed however by no means destroyed”. This perception, cast within the midst of his expertise of totalitarianism, ought to information us.

On this discipline, similar to many others, our overseas coverage will take impact first on the bottom, the place it’s confronted with what President Macron yesterday known as a “competitors of universalisms”. It should actively contribute to opening up the house for democracy and rights wherever attainable. It is likely one of the President’s priorities, reaffirmed on the launch of the Marianne Initiative, for instance, in December 2021, which helps human rights advocates around the globe. I would love us to have the ability to amplify this motion by organising a “democratic resilience” plan in each embassy, wherever related, developed below your supervision and bringing the ministry’s assets collectively, specifically the civil society phase of the Solidarity Fund for Revolutionary initiatives (FSPI), and company assets, or these arriving by means of multilateral channels. This technique may also incorporate our cultural diplomacy assets, which fairly often present a discussion board for dialogue and the circulation of concepts, in locations the place they’re threatened.

On this basic framework, we will proceed our motion to guard those that work for particular person freedoms, akin to group and humanitarian stakeholders, journalists and attorneys. We will proceed working for individuals who are oppressed or persecuted for who they’re: spiritual minorities, a few of whom, such because the Yazidis of Iraq, have been victims of Daesh and its genocidal acts, and members of the LGBTQ+ communities, for whom we will have a devoted ambassador by the top of the yr, as desired by the Prime Minister. Lastly, as a result of no society can develop with out gender equality, we will proceed to make our feminist diplomacy a key component of our motion. For instance, you have to proceed to work for the suitable to schooling for ladies: the tragedy of the Taliban’s return to Kabul reminds us that it can’t be taken without any consideration. You have to additionally work for sexual and reproductive rights, undermined even within the coronary heart of a fantastic democracy like the US of America, and for equal rights and remedy earlier than the regulation.

This democratic agenda ought to take into consideration the large growth of recent media in our lives. Right here, as soon as extra, France is a driver. I’m pondering of the brand new Digital Providers Act, talked about earlier, and adopted below the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It’ll assist battle in opposition to the dissemination of unlawful content material on-line, akin to incitement to hatred and harassment. I take into account the Christchurch Name to eradicate terrorist and violent extremist content material on-line, launched by the President Macron and the Prime Minister of New Zealand. I’m additionally referring to the Worldwide Partnership for Data and Democracy, which goals to advertise entry, notably on-line, to dependable info of excellent high quality, from free, unbiased and pluralist media shops. Two summits, on the sidelines of the United Nations Basic Meeting on the finish of September, will consolidate these coalitions. On the nationwide stage, France’s Exterior Audiovisual Providers will stay a key actor.

As a part of the assembly on the suitable to info, which my colleague, Minister of Tradition Rima Abdul-Malak, and I shall set up collectively, I plan to mirror with you on the perfect instruments to defend us from overseas interference. We should do extra. I plan to take motion with you, to outline the widespread European framework that will enable us to behave extra successfully and help free media overseas. This requires you to have a good higher presence in digital areas the place worldwide relations play out, to unfold consciousness about your motion as you do, but in addition to dismantle all false info, battle in opposition to this interference, and be extra energetic or proactive. It’s a fully-fledged space of our motion in the present day. It is part of your function as diplomats.

Our shared humanity clearly contains our surroundings too, and we should shield it from competitors mentalities and firms that prey on it. Rivals that comply with diverging trajectories ought to be capable of agree on this level. We need to imagine so. It’s due to this fact unthinkable to hope to resolve the worldwide challenges that we face with out China, the main carbon emitter. That’s the reason why we should proceed to hunt out agreements wherever attainable, as a result of we should keep away from the return of a bloc mentality which might paralyze diplomacy, together with in fields such because the atmosphere or the local weather, the place it’s a matter of urgency to search out options. I’m not saying that will probably be straightforward, contemplating the brand new enlargement of competitors mentalities. Nonetheless, I imagine in our potential to succeed, and that is for the easy motive that what we’ve got certified because the “brutalization” of worldwide relations – and rightly so – didn’t look forward to the conflict in Ukraine. We can not say that the previous decade has been much more peaceable than the earlier century.

France has all the time wished to advertise humanist diplomacy, and since COP21, and much more so since 2017, it has continued to steadily transfer ahead, wherever attainable looking for and creating areas of widespread floor. From the Tropical Forest Alliance to the Ambition Coalition for Nature and Folks to the Alliance for Multilateralism and the One Ocean Summit in Brest, and the following UN Ocean Convention, which we need to maintain in France in 2025, to the ACT-Accelerator initiative, to our involvement within the COVAX mechanism, the place we achieved and even exceeded our purpose with 124 million doses, we have been capable of overcome obstacles and keep away from shocks on a number of events. We are able to do it. So let’s preserve going. The annual Paris Peace Discussion board additionally offers us with a platform to hunt new alternatives to foster this diplomacy of widespread items and concrete initiatives.

Within the yr forward, we should tirelessly proceed our efforts, at the least in two precedence areas.

The primary is to decrease greenhouse gasoline emissions. That is essentially the most pressing venture within the coming years, each inside our borders and internationally. COP27 shall be held on 7-18 November in Sharm El Sheikh, whereas the conflict in Ukraine has made our dependence on fossil fuels a significant situation. We should transcend the North-South division, which is senseless within the face of the fast local weather change which is affecting the whole planet.

The second situation is meals safety. The short-term intention is to counteract the worsening meals safety because of the conflict in Ukraine, and within the medium time period to deal with the structural shortcomings of the worldwide agricultural market. Outcomes have been achieved on the WTO, WFP and IFAD, and have to be consolidated. This requires new partnerships, notably with the non-public actors inside the motion coalition which I launched on 23 June with my colleague Marc Fesneau from the Ministry for Agriculture, below the FARM initiative, initiated by President Macron, continued by the European Union and the G7, with non-public actors, recipient international locations and specifically African international locations.

Lastly, our shared humanity has a framework for motion: it’s ours, it’s multilateralism.

With the Europeans, we’re persevering with our staunch help for worldwide organizations, beginning with the United Nations. On the Safety Council, abuse of the veto won’t ever silence our votes for the rule of regulation and peace. In New York, Geneva, Rome and Nairobi, we’re supporting the Secretary-Basic, businesses, funds and programmes, to deal with crises, promote human rights and encourage sustainable growth for all.

The impartiality of sure technical organizations just like the IAEA and OPCW is being challenged by those that dislike their conclusions, even apparent ones akin to that the Damascus regime used chemical weapons in opposition to its folks, and that there have to be penalties for this. Others are pressured to a higher or lesser extent, just like the WHO yesterday or the Worldwide Legal Courtroom by the earlier US administration.

For our half, we are going to all the time help the multilateral system; as a result of the worldwide order wants impartiality, consensus and guidelines. We’ve got shaped stable partnerships to defend this technique, first in Europe after which outdoors Europe, notably with our Latin American pals, and these partnerships might maybe be taken additional.

We’re additionally serving our shared humanity by taking motion the place divides are vulnerable to deepening, and I’ll point out some regional conditions.

Within the Sahel, which we’ve got already addressed, our navy withdrawal from Mali opens up a brand new chapter. We’ll proceed to work on two fronts: first, we are going to assist our companions fight armed terrorist teams looking for to destabilize them, as a result of that is important for our personal safety. However we are going to accomplish that by offering extra help, through an strategy to empower and scale up our companions, based mostly on their requests. The safety strategy alone is inadequate. That’s the reason, secondly, it’s important that it go hand in hand with growth and stabilization initiatives, the return of State companies and improved governance. We’ll stand alongside the international locations which promote this strategy.

We should additionally study from strategic restructurings underway within the Center East. Our diplomacy is certainly a balancing energy. Not as a result of we’re equidistant from everybody, as a result of as I mentioned we all know our place, our allies and our companions. However as a result of we’re looking for a stability and need to stop those that search so as to add to the dysfunction from destabilizing worldwide relations.

Concerning the prospect of Iran’s return to the JCPOA, because the President recalled, the ball is now in Tehran’s court docket. On the similar time, Iran is continuous to increase its affect on the expense of the sovereignty and safety of its neighbours and on no account is ceasing its hegemonic rhetoric. The difficulty of safety within the Center East is thus not confined to the nuclear situation. We must make proposals to each strengthen regional safety and keep the house for dialogue opened up by the Baghdad Convention final summer season.

Our neutral dedication to the sovereignty and stability of Iraq has by no means waned. Whereas Iraq is experiencing its worst political disaster since 2003 and in current days has seen violent flare-ups, we may also help promote a means of de-escalation and inclusive dialogue.

The Abraham Accords are additionally an indication of change. They pace up Israel’s inclusion course of in its regional atmosphere, which is optimistic and have to be maintained. However the Abraham Accords are additionally incomplete. Whereas supporting the regional financial integration course of opened up by these Accords, we should stay at hand to revive a political outlook to the Palestinian situation. Our help for the safety of Israel goes hand in hand with our compliance with worldwide regulation, which we anticipate a democracy to scrupulously apply. It additionally goes hand in hand with our assertion of a regulation with equal dignity and sovereignty for each Israelis and Palestinians, i.e. a two-State answer, which is the one fascinating end result.

Lebanon is in critical decline and experiencing an unprecedented financial disaster. Our accountability is to help the folks of Lebanon who’re drained by the scenario, but in addition to exert our affect to place a cease to the negligence and abuses. However there are some grounds for hope: basic elections have taken place, and a technical settlement has been signed with the IMF. However except the Lebanese management all of a sudden begins to take motion, the collapse of Lebanon will proceed. We’ll thus pay full consideration to make sure that the Lebanese leaders meet their folks’s calls for for reform and justice.

Lastly, the soundness of the Mediterranean area is much more very important. Our safety, prosperity, and ecological and local weather future largely depend upon the Mediterranean. We should face these challenges collectively. That’s the reason we’re persevering with to accentuate and renew our partnerships with the Maghreb international locations. The French President’s go to to Algeria laid the foundations for a renewed, forward-looking and youth-oriented partnership between our two international locations. We’re additionally selling this ambition to revitalize cooperation and dialogue with Morocco, a rustic with which we’ve got an distinctive partnership. And in Tunisia, one other nation near our hearts, which is present process transition, we should proceed to help the inhabitants affected by a critical financial disaster. This ambition have to be broadly guided by our shared safety pursuits, however should additionally take full account of the folks’s aspirations for a freer and fairer world, through which their dignity and the rule of regulation are revered.

We’ll proceed to behave to cut back the chaos in Libya and to work on stabilizing it. Our evaluation is appropriate: solely elections will allow us to resolve the legitimacy disaster affecting Libyan establishments, that are solely facilitating interference from actors whose motives differ from ours. The Libyans need to make progress, so we should assist them to take action.


I might point out many different regional conditions, however I wish to get to my fourth and closing part. France will ask a variety of you within the months and years forward, and in return, the federal government provides you with the wherewithal to behave. Now could be the time to “reset” our diplomacy.

Firstly, you may depend on robust help from the folks of France.

I’ll begin with COVID, Afghanistan and Ukraine: over the previous three years, French diplomacy has gained lot of belief. It confirmed that it isn’t solely an instrument of affect and energy to serve a robust and unbiased France, but in addition a dependable and environment friendly public service. It is a implausible asset. You have to proceed to develop this belief.

The vital outreach actions initiated by this ministry should additionally proceed. They assist to raised promote our work and our jobs, to realize a greater understanding of them. The Summer season Diplomatic Academy, the Empreintes programme, your journeys to areas should proceed and allow you to take care of your relationship with the folks of France, native elected officers, group organizations and naturally much more than earlier than, with members of Parliament, because the Prime Minister recalled to all members of presidency. Many MPs are right here amongst us in the present day, as they’re all year long, and I wish to lengthen to them my warmest greetings and thanks.

To consolidate this hyperlink, consideration for the issues of our compatriots should all the time be integral to our work.

The folks of France anticipate us to guard them when they’re travelling or dwelling overseas. Moreover, we are going to proceed to work tirelessly for the discharge of our compatriots being held hostage or convicted on political grounds. We’ll proceed to work tirelessly on the safety of the folks of France in these occasions of disaster.

Along with safety and defending our values, the folks of France anticipate us to assist them of their each day lives. They’ve main issues over buying energy. Financial diplomacy, which has all the time been central to our occupation, has enabled our embassies to take full possession of points linked to overseas commerce and attractiveness.

Underneath the banner of “Select France”, and following competitiveness reforms undertaken within the earlier five-year time period, we’ve got made France Europe’s most tasty nation for overseas funding initiatives. This has been the case for the third yr working. With Olivier Becht, we are going to work to consolidate France as a model. I ask you to work with Enterprise France, alongside our areas and all attractiveness actors to use a easy precept: we should use all of the assets at our disposal, and use them as a staff.

Our diplomacy have to be one which produces outcomes, and every outcome counts if it permits us to contribute to what we would like for France: full employment, progress, reindustrialization. The creation of even a dozen jobs in a small city is successful in its personal proper, to not point out the €6.7 billion of funding introduced on the final Select France summit.

Our financial diplomacy should allow our companies to venture themselves much more successfully worldwide. The deficit – I ought to say substantial deficit – within the commerce in items conceals the optimistic underlying developments which we have to develop. One instance: regardless of the pandemic, over the previous few years we’ve got seen the variety of French exporters break information, with over 138,000 of them now in comparison with 120,000 in 2017. It’s encouraging, however not sufficient, compared to our neighbours’ export bases. You’ll be able to depend on the help of the stable partnership cast in 2018 with Enterprise France, the areas, Bpifrance and CCI France inside Staff France Export, which I – with Olivier at my aspect – wish to deepen additional.

For French nationals overseas, schooling should stay on the coronary heart of our issues: we shall be strengthening the French instructional excellence community, through the community of French colleges overseas, which can also be maybe one among our greatest automobiles for increasing francophonie and a world view, and our values. Our purpose should even be to get France again on the rostrum of the nations most tasty to worldwide college students – which is a really diplomatic method of claiming that we’ve got misplaced floor and must reverse the development.

Being near our compatriots’ issues and pursuits, as I’m asking you to be, additionally means – in terms of our diplomatic community –participating within the main occasions which carry French folks collectively. In lower than two years, there’s one which can tackle a historic dimension for France: the 2024 Olympic Video games. Our landscapes, our cities and cities, our experience and our financial system shall be on present to the whole world. I thank my colleague Amélie Oudéa-Castéra for agreeing yesterday to speak to you about this. I hope she instructed you what I’m pondering. We’ve got 70 embassies that are already related to this main occasion, the Olympic Video games, by means of the “Land of the Video games” label: my want is for this quantity to be doubled by subsequent summer season. It’s attainable.

Lastly, let’s flip to our assets, to which we will even be devoting a particular session this afternoon.

The French folks have excessive expectations of you, and the worldwide context justifies, after all, as you realize higher than anybody, France resolutely taking the trail of stepping up its sovereign duties.

Over the previous few years our armed forces have seen their assets enhance, permitting us to carry our rank in the present day. We should additionally elevate our diplomatic ambition, which additionally entails rising our assets: that is my precedence and my dedication to you. Official growth help will proceed the numerous, clear progress below method since 2017. This yr, an additional €860 million for 2023 shall be proposed for approval by Parliament.

Supported by Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, I’ll all the time watch out to make sure that the assets entrusted to us meet the political priorities set by the President and Prime Minister, which can quickly be reaffirmed and tailored, if needed, at a Presidential Council for Improvement assembly, then set out at a gathering of the Interministerial Committee for Worldwide Cooperation and Improvement (CICID) session in the beginning of subsequent yr. As a result of our growth coverage is an integral a part of our overseas coverage. The 2021 programming act drew the implications of this by strengthening the political administration of ODA, for which the Agence Française de Développement, the AFD, is the chief company. That is the case in Paris and overseas. I ask you to be guarantors of this, by organizing native growth councils and putting in the nation methods anticipated of you.

However I’d additionally wish to say in the present day that, with the help of the President and Prime Minister, whom I very warmly thank, the State exterior motion mission (i.e. programmes 105, 151 and 185) will see its funding enhance by €160 million in 2023. This rise consolidates the regular course of to extend our budgetary assets begun in 2018, however with a big rise.

Concerning jobs, I need to start by paying tribute to my predecessor, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who succeeded final yr in stabilizing the variety of full-time equal positions, thus placing a cease, in his phrases – I believe I’m quoting him precisely – to the haemorrhaging of jobs on this Ministry. Subsequent yr – because the President has instructed you – for the primary time in roughly 30 years, since 1993, we shall be creating jobs. Since 1993: that signifies that no diplomat below the age of 55 could have seen a rise in workers at this Ministry. So it’s a real break with the previous, a real change. So the Ministry for Europe and International Affairs will see its job ceiling enhance by 100 full-time equal positions this yr. For a Ministry akin to ours, that may be a very substantial enhance in our human assets.

These new assets have an effect on your each day skilled lives. Working in a disaster centre which manages €30 million of humanitarian help, as was the case in 2017, shouldn’t be the identical as working in a single managing €200 million, like this yr. When it meets in 2023, the Nationwide Humanitarian Convention will be capable of notice the progress made and our nation will be capable of be pleased with it. Neither is working with the organizations within the UN system, when voluntary contributions have fallen to €105 million, their 2017 stage, the identical as when these contributions will exceed €700 million in 2023. Being an envoy with the Solidarity Fund for Revolutionary Tasks (FSPI) amounting to €17 million, as in 2018, shouldn’t be the identical as being an envoy after they quantity to €60 million, like in the present day, and shortly extra.

These new assets must also function a catalyst to assist us deal with updating our group and its strategies. With regard to the price range, as in human assets, there shall be no dispersion of funds – I’ll clarify decisions, together with these needed to enhance the each day workings of this administration. With out going into element, these decisions will clearly embody such new political points because the precedence given to the Indo-Pacific, the safety of our websites, cyber safety, and our potential to reply to info threats. Two new departments shall be shaped to assist us higher deal with these threats.

Along with these new assets – not because of them, however along with them – we should present that we’re adaptable and revolutionary. I imagine the phrase the President used was “agile.”

These are important qualities for diplomats, and they’re extra needed than ever.

Fifteen years in the past, the International Ministry took a pioneering step with the institution of its Disaster and Help Centre, most likely one among our best successes. The CDCS is a flexible device, open to outdoors consultants, that may be mobilized to serve the federal government equipment. I need to applaud the effectiveness with which it coordinates authorities efforts to reply to consular crises. We’ve got seen that with Ukraine, and humanitarian crises such because the scenario in Pakistan, to which we offered aid this week, have illustrated it but once more. It took only a week from the Pakistani Prime Minister’s enchantment for emergency aid to in the present day’s dispatching of help.

I wish to see the identical effectivity in different sections of the Ministry. For instance, in 2023, I need the French Nationals Overseas and Consular Administration Directorate to create its personal specialised help centre too, in order that we will help these within the consular community who’re dealing with difficulties and reply to the reputable expectations of French nationals overseas and overseas nationals who’re looking for to enter French territory legally.

This additionally pertains to the Directorate-Basic for International Affairs. France leads quite a few world coalitions on ever extra various subjects. The DGM should due to this fact match into the framework offered yesterday by President Macron, through which this Ministry totally assumes its function as an interministerial chief of worldwide motion. The DGM can play this function by rallying quite a lot of actors, supervising businesses and making certain that their authorized autonomy doesn’t broaden on the expense of the State’s strategic objectives, for which we’re politically accountable. It should be capable of talk with civil society and native governments, integrating their experience and assets, in addition to these of different Ministries, into the duty forces it would lead, and it should have the price range to do that. This is a gigantic job aimed toward strengthening our potential to make sure constant management in world affairs, which have gotten more and more technical.

Lastly, I need our diplomacy to be much more revolutionary. In 2023, I need the Ministry to determine three funds to assist enhance innovation: a fund devoted to improvements in tender diplomacy, in order that our institutes and cultural companies can obtain help for launching new programmes; a fund for the ecological and vitality transition, to help investments that allow us to cut back our vitality consumption network-wide; and, within the space of communication, a €500,000 fund to help our most bold initiatives.

Lastly – and I’m properly conscious of the truth that I took up my place at a time when critical questions have been being requested inside our establishment, targeted specifically across the reform of senior administration, however extending far past – I need to say a fast phrase about us ourselves.

The fears which were expressed for years over the dangers of diluting the precise nature of the diplomatic occupation are palpable in the present day. Difficulties have additionally arisen in reference to an usually very heavy and increasing workload, along with fewer assets, a rising variety of missions, and rising autonomy granted to businesses. They’re additionally related to the constraints inherent in a profession usually spent overseas, and particularly the impression that has on spouses’ careers and youngsters’s schooling. Our procedures and administrative processes have as soon as once more come below criticism. And I haven’t forgotten the class B and C workers, and workers members below non-public contracts for whom these issues are all of the extra pressing.

That’s the reason the Ministry must take a second to pay attention, to mirror and to carry discussions, in an effort to redefine the that means of our assortment efforts. There’ll due to this fact be a convention on France’s diplomacy. President Macron has agreed to help this concept, as he instructed you yesterday. We should always ask questions at that convention which are so simple as “What’s diplomacy in the present day? What expertise do we want? What classes ought to we study with regard to hiring and profession growth? How can we assure higher variety and higher gender equality? How can we make the lives of our workers simpler and present them that the administration that calls for a lot of them additionally has their backs?”

These are points we must deal with collectively, because the French diplomatic group. With the President and Prime Minister’s help, this autumn we are going to conduct a large-scale reflection course of open to the surface that ought to allow us to contemplate the diplomatic context through which we work and the assets and group it requires, on the one hand, {and professional} careers and dealing strategies on the opposite. And fairly merely, the Ministry’s function inside the State. That’s how we can transfer ahead. And please, allow us to transfer ahead.

Ambassadors, that’s the crux of what I wished to let you know in the present day. As you might be properly conscious, the President, the Prime Minister, I personally and the residents of France have by no means had greater expectations of our diplomats than they do in the present day, given the present state of disarray on this planet.

You’ve the complete confidence of the best State authorities. You’ve mine. You’re lucky to have one of the fascinating, vital careers that exist: the diplomatic profession. Be artistic, be optimistic and, working hand in hand along with your youngest colleagues, who share your calling, map out an ambition for France and its overseas coverage.

I’m satisfied that we’ve got one of many world’s best diplomatic companies. So allow us to proceed.




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