During a speech at the ‘day for cooperation and cultural action network’, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, spoke about his vision for French diplomacy in the upcoming years, arguing that France’s standing in the world depends on its diplomatic policy. Le Drian’s speech set up five guidelines for the country’s diplomatic efforts: 1) climate change, where the Paris Agreement should be considered irreversible and its implementation a priority; 2) education, as a central pillar of development initiatives, and as a way of helping diminish security challenges in the long run, 3) rejuvenation of the perception of the French cultural model through promoting creativity and innovation and France’s cultural industries; 4) increased scientific and academic cooperation; and 5) a focus on Africa, including for development assistance and migration management policies. The latter follows the launch of the Sahel Alliance with Germany and the EU. On education specifically, the Minister called for an increase in the total amount of bilateral assistance for education to be disbursed based on gender-equality criteria.
With regards to development policy, he also noted that France’s credibility relies upon defining a roadmap to reach the 0.7% target – a goal already achieved by Germany and the United Kingdom.
Speech – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French)