L’Ambassadeur a participé à la 9e édition du... [中文]
L’Ambassadeur a participé à la 9e édition du World Peace Forum, organisée par l’université Tsinghua du 2 au 4 juillet 2021. Il s’est en particulier exprimé lors de la session plénière consacrée aux relations entre grandes puissances (« Reshaping Relations among Major Powers »), qui était présidée par le Secrétaire général du Forum, M. Yan Xuetong.
Session plénière “Reshaping Relations among Major Powers World Peace Forum
Dimanche 4 juillet à 14h00 – Conference Hall VIP Room 4, 8F,
Liaoning International Hotel
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It’ a great honor for me to attend this new edition of the “World Peace Forum” of Tsinghua University and to address this prestigious audience.
Let me first congratulate the organizers for their efforts to renew with the tradition of this important annual gathering of scholars, diplomats and journalists in this prestigious Tsinghua University, the first one since the Covid-19 started. Let me congratulate Professor Yan Xuetong, Secretary General of the World Peace forum.
What does “Reshaping relations among major powers” means today ?
The Covid-19 crisis, with its health, economic and social consequences, has brought new challenges to globalization and multilateralism, but has also opened new perspectives.
As French President Emmanuel Macron stressed in September 2020 during the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate, “the coronavirus pandemic requires cooperation between nations and should serve as an “electric shock” to wake up the United Nations”. Now, after more than one year, “the pandemic is still not defeated, but we have all learned lessons from this” as stated by President Macron in 74th World Health Assembly in May 2021.
1/ The first concrete way to reshape relations among major powers should be to enhance our solidarity in the global fight against the Covid-19 through a wide access to vaccination, especially in developing countries. This a very concrete way to demonstrate what “multilateralism” should mean for all of us.
The first response to the pandemic started early last year by a rapid and tremendous flow of solidarity among countries which should not be forgotten, masks and others health materials delivered in emergency. I would here mention, among others, the solidarity between France and China since the very beginning of the pandemic in Wuhan.
This year, the main issue is the vaccination. The pandemic is not over yet and we must continue to work together, with WHO, GAVI and UNITAID. That’s why France is supporting the COVAX Facility. My country has considered from the very beginning that vaccines against the covid-19 should be a global public good and that we should ensure an equitable access to vaccination.
I shall remind you that France raised its financial contribution to COVAX to 200 million euros (100 million in 2020 and a further announcement of 100 million in June 2021). France also further stepped up its commitment during the G7 Summit, and promised to donate 60 million vaccine doses to COVAX this year. When he was in South Africa at the end of May, the President of the Republic has also launched together with Cyril Ramaphosa, an initiative to support the production of vaccines in Africa.
We will welcome all efforts by all countries to increase its donations to finance access to vaccines to the developing countries.
Moreover, we also have to deal with the economic consequences of the pandemic : that’s why France together with other countries, the UN and other international institutions, hosted a conference in May on the issue of the Financing of African economies. We welcomed the participation of China, represented by Vice-premier HAN Zheng himself. We are now looking forward to the full engagement of all in the implementation of this conference.
2/ “Reshaping relations” after the crisis means also coming back, progressively, to a more balanced situation between Europe and China.
Since 2020, we have faced indeed a situation where cross-border movements for officials, businessmen and women, and ordinary citizens, are still restricted. We moved from frequent high levels visits between States to a virtual type of diplomacy, which may not have all the benefits of face-to-face exchanges ; flights are rare if not canceled. Since last year, all major multilateral summits and other conferences went virtual, UN General Assembly, G20 Summit, etc.
As the vaccination is improving in many countries, like France, we look forward to a recovery situation where the leaders would be able to meet again. This is possible with precautionary measures. We, in the European Union, experience it on a regular basis : the EU Leaders and Ministers manage to meet together. Some other organizations (G7 ; NATO) managed also to gather physically. We have also established a vaccines’ passport in Europe.
We should get back to a situation where vaccinated people can get more easily visas to travel back to China with their families to work, which also means more flights between China and Europe, including France and China (and vice-versa).
For the success of international conferences, like the COP15 for the Convention on Biodiversity in October the presence of leaders, as well as the one of foreign delegations - if vaccinated - are keys. On our side, France will host the IUCN World Congress in September this year, and we expect this meeting could give a strong input from civil society organizations and governments to future improvement on the protection of the biodiversity. We, of course, expect China’s strong participation at various levels.
We also hope to see also all the leaders of the G20 member countries gather in Italy at the end of October for the next summit (October 30-31, 2021)
3/ “Reshaping relations” after the crisis also means that major powers should join their efforts to tackle the other major issues that are still in front of us :
In the recent years and months, the rivalry between powers has increased. Vulnerable countries have been the theater of intervention of foreign malign actors. Disinformation has been used widely, as well as intimidation and coercion. Digital tools are being instrumentalized for destabilization. The use of proxies and non-state actors in several crisis has also been a growing challenge that the international community must deal with.
The capacity of the UN system to face the situation was questioned. All the fractures that existed before the pandemic, the hegemonic shock of the powers, the questioning of multilateralism or its instrumentalization, the trampling of international law has only accelerated and deepened at the same time.
We have to work together to find creative solutions for us and for the future generations. It is time for action.
First, we need to secure the multilateralism based on the UN System, based on international law, and to improve it when necessary, but not to destroy it nor to create an alternative system.
On climate, a great challenge lays ahead of us. We must all have the ambition of reaching a successful COP26 in Glasgow this year. We of course welcome ambitious targets such as carbon neutrality in 2060, expressed by President Xi Jinping at the UN General Assembly last year and we are confident that China will play a key role in future negotiations towards the COP 26. We welcome the recent decision announced by China to adopt, legally speaking, the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocole on HFC.
Regarding biodiversity, we also have to keep the ambitions high on the objectives for the next COP 15. The Covid-19 crisis and the issue of the venue of the COP should not be a reason for reducing the ambition of the international community.
As for health, France, together with EU member states, firmly supports the leadership of WHO in the management of the pandemic, and advocates for a strengthening and renewing of the organization’s leadership and role. The COVID-19 crisis management assessment launched by the WHO’s Director General should give us all the opportunity and a solid basis to do so, in a collective, collaborative and pragmatic way.
On peace and security, we need a UN Security Council able to agree on political solutions for regional crisis.
o In Africa for instance, the situation in the Central African Republic is absolutely dramatic. It goes beyond the most pessimistic scenarios that we could imagine a few months ago. As France has stated in UNSC, there is an urgency to act to stop violence and protect civilians. As for Sahel, we are changing our approach but will continue to support the fight against terrorism, with the G5 and the international community.
o Regarding Syria, France underlined at the UNSC the necessity to have a credible political process and to come back to the core of resolution 2254 of UNSC. It is also an absolute necessity to respect international humanitarian law.
o In Libya, the resolution 2570 of UNSC, the cease fire agreement signed in October as well as the arms embargo must be implemented. All foreign forces, armed groups and mercenaries must leave the country.
o We also need to have a successful NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty) review Conference in a few months. Moreover, we need to find sustainable solutions for the Iranian and North Korea nuclear issues, just to give a few significant examples.
I also think we will not be able to avoid a reform regarding WTO, which needs to function properly.
Finally, I would like to conclude on the importance of principles and values, especially on human rights, which are universal, indivisible and interdependent, and that we will continue to plead for and protect.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The world as it is today does not have the luxury to spend its resources in useless quest for domination and supremacy. We must be very firm with the destabilizing effects of a growing array of actors, state as well as non-state actors.
I’m convinced that China, the European Union and the US and all the international community have a great opportunity in the coming months to refocus themselves on all these global issues, and to work together to ensure peace and stability.