Discours de l’Ambassadeur de France en Chine à l’occasion de la commémoration du centenaire de l’armistice
Le 11 novembre 2018, l’Ambassadeur de France en Chine s’est exprimé lors d’une cérémonie coorganisée par l’Ambassadeur de Roumanie en Chine (texte en anglais).
Au cours de la cérémonie, l’Ambassadeur de France en Chine et son homologue allemand ont déposé ensemble une gerbe, faisant ainsi écho à la cérémonie co-présidée par le Président de la République et la Chancelière allemande le 10 novembre dans la clairière de l’Armistice en forêt de Compiègne.
I wish first to thank and congratulate my friend and colleague the Ambassador of Romania to the People’s Republic of China for the outstanding organization of that Remembrance ceremony, which brings us together every year to honor all of our Fallen.
On November 11th, 1918, one hundred years ago to the day, our elders thought or dreamed that World War I - which killed 18 Million of people - would be the last of the lasts.
Thank you also, dear Basil, for allowing me to say a few words on behalf of the President of the French Republic.
As you know, the Commemorations of the Centenary has largely mobilized in France and outer France for the last four years.
The Mission of the Centenary, created by France for these years of commemorations, has sponsored, for 2018 alone, 44 international projects in 40 states, in Europe (Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Greece, Spain, Bulgaria, Serbia, Iceland, and others), but also in America (United States, Canada, Peru, Mexico), in Africa (Chad, Mauritania, Tunisia), in Oceania (Australia) and in Asia (China, Thailand, India).
In the framework of this commemoration, French President Emmanuel Macron dedicated himself to a 5 day trip (from 4 to 9 November) to the Eastern and Northern parts of France, in 11 departments which suffered heavily during the War and where many of your countries have lost thousands of men.
He also co-chaired a French-German ceremony alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday in the Forest of Compiègne where the Armistice was signed.
The Commemoration of the Armistice, later today with the attendance of dozens of Heads of State and Government, will be the climax of his journey of Remembrance.
The first celebration of the Armistice occurred in a paradoxical atmosphere, mixing the sorrow and grief caused by the millions of dead to honor, with the untold happiness of a restored peace, a world peace that all dreamt would last.
Today, one hundred years later, we feel the same paradoxical emotion, mixing the same grief the fall of our soldiers brought to us, and the high hope that their sacrifice was not in vain.
Today, we embody this hope by standing here side by side, former belligerents, former enemies, former allies, united in the same duty of remembrance and sharing the same will of working together for friendship and peace between peoples, a peace to which we dedicate our daily work, and for which these dead we honor today sacrificed their lives.
Allow me to stress how important is our presence here today, where I stand next to the German Ambassador, united by the irrevocable decision of our people to reconcile and to promote together in all parts of our Continent and of the world peace, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental values.
This is the only way to ensure that our children will be able to live the peaceful and prosperous future that our parents and grand-parents hopped for in 1918.
This hope, our leaders will stand for it today in Paris, in a stronger and more symbolic way. Indeed, within a couple of hours, more than 120 foreign dignitaries, representing the 1st World War belligerent countries, European institutions, United Nations and some other international organizations, will gather at the Arc de Triomphe.
Afterwards, they will join together at the Great Hall of La Villette for the opening of the 1st session of Paris Forum for Peace, to imagine and build, with civil society, innovative solutions for a renovated multilateralism.
To help us face collectively the rise of tensions in today’s world - fed by populists and nationalists that would like us to forget or to deny the consequences of their fatal ideas in the last century - this Forum for Peace will hopefully be the yearly meeting for projects, ideas and initiatives which can effectively contribute to a better international cooperation to tackle great global challenges, to a more equal and fair globalization and a more efficient multilateral system with a reinforced legitimacy.
Thank you for your attention