We will stay and fight?
MARCH 24, 2009 – In our Editorial Comment of December 13, 2008 we stated that Madame Rama Yade, the French Secretary of State forForeign Affairs and Human Rights attended a conference on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In her speech Madame Rama Yade emphasised the necessity of the struggle for dignity and justice for all. With respect to Durban II, she was quoted as saying that France opposes recognition of the concept of defamation of religions and reaffirms the vigilance of France and the European Union to prevent the crossing of ‘red lines’.
However, to an audience that included the consuls of Israel, Turkey, Germany, Egypt and the Netherlands she added, “An empty chair, (referring to France’s attendance), is not a solution in itself. France will participate in the conference in Durban II, which will take place in Geneva in 2009.”
As one well-known Durban II French lobbyist said at the time, “France is ready to sacrifice anything and everything for results. It will not achieve real economic advantages with totalitarian countries, whether Muslim or Chinese or Russian, also to avoid terrorist attacks on French soil. Neither of these has ever been achieved nor will be.”
This week, in a report published in Libération.fr, Madame Yade re-emphasised her country’s position against boycotting Durban II.
“We should not boycott the next UN conference against racism, but to participate strongly to defend its beliefs. This was said by Rama Yade, this weekend, during a debate organized by Liberation in Rennes. Stating her position on the conference known as Durban II, which will open April 20 in Geneva, the Secretary of State in charge of Human Rights provided that ‘it had to stay and fight’ . . .
Last week, the Europeans tried to agree on a compromise document. But for now, the 27 members of the EU have not yet adopted a common position.”
When was the last time you can remember France standing up and fighting for anything – other than perhaps for their potatoes!
(Photo credits: Flickr and franceonu.org)