22nd Ambassadors Conference
Opening speech by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic (excerpts)
Paris, 28 August 2014
Mr. President of the Senate,
Mr. Foreign Minister, dear Laurent Fabius,
Once again we meet for this Conference, which has become a major milestone, a ritual, but this year takes place in a particularly difficult context.
In the heart of the Middle East, a barbarous organization is attempting to take on the dimensions of a State in order to impose nothing less than a Caliphate in the region.
In Eastern Europe, a conflict that has already left 2,000 dead jeopardizes the principles that have underpinned our collective security since the end of the Cold War.
In West Africa, a major public health threat is added to the specter of terrorism, overwhelming countries that up to now had been regarded as some of the world’s most dynamic economically.
These crises, which may seem disparate, can no longer be considered discrete or regional; they are global and international. They are not foreign, they concern us directly. Just because they are occurring far away does not mean that they do not have ramifications right here. They concern us all on an almost personal level.
When a civilian aircraft is shot out of the sky over Ukraine, when fighters of hate are being trained to carry out their criminal assignments in our own countries, and when journalists are kidnapped and horrifically murdered, we are all concerned.
France is mindful of the extreme gravity of these threats.
We cannot remain indifferent to such threats or conceive of ourselves as spectators. That would not be in keeping with our history, and even less so with France’s status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It would not be compatible with our clear interests or with our vocation as a great country governed by values. The point of our foreign policy is to strive for peace and security in the world. That is the crux of the tireless diplomatic effort led by Laurent Fabius, whose work I once again applaud.
France is on the move. On every front.read more