France launches international campaign tackling violence against women

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a campaign to prevent violence against women and domestic violence. The campaign will be implemented during the French presidency of the G7 and the ministerial committee of the Council of Europe. It aims internationalize the Council of Europe's Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women endorsed in 2011.

Press release - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French)


Dutch finance minister questions Franco-German budget proposal

Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra has questioned France and German's latest eurozone budget proposal ahead of the Eurogroup gathering in Brussels on November 19, 2018. In a Twitter post, Hoekstra said,"the need for such a budget is less than convincing. It is unclear how this will help and why this would be in the interest of Dutch citizens.”

France and Germany published a two-page proposal for the budget on November 16, 2018, which said that a eurozone budget should be within the EU budget framework and linked to “external assigned revenues,” like an EU financial transaction tax. Countries in the single currency union would be able to tap into the pot but only if they comply with strict rules on economic policy coordination.

Twitter post - Minister of Finance of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

EU France Germany Netherlands

France increases development assistant budget

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian reaffirmed France's commitments to increase development assistance during a parliamentary debate on the 2019 budget law. He confirmed that France's Official Development Assistance (ODA) will increase from €8.6 billion in 2016 up to €15 billion in 2022, to a total of 0.55% of Gross National Income. Notably, this will allow the French development agency (AFD) to benefit from a €114-million increase in grants as soon as next year compared to 2018, for €427 million in total. €194 million will be allocated to UN organizations next year.

Half of those additional resources will be allocated to social services for education and youth, and the other half will support conflict zones, climate change, and gender equality, particularly in Africa. Le Drian also indicated that up to 10% of France's ODA will be channelled through NGOs in the coming years, up from 3% at present.

Website - National Assembly (in French)


South Korea and France hold policy dialogue on supporting peace and security in Africa

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea held policy discussions with their counterparts in France on stronger cooperation in Africa. Discussion items included sharing information on key diplomatic policies, strategies, and the outcome of key events. The dialogue also covered support for domestic companies to increase their presence in the region. 

Following the policy dialogue, the Korea-Africa Foundation, a newly-formed organization under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea, will cooperate with its respective counterpart in France.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

France South Korea

France allocates €2 million to support social services in Iraq

On the occasion of the Paris Peace Forum, France committed €2 million to the Reconstruction Fund for the Sinjar Irakien region in Iraq, a fund initiated by Nobel Prize Laureate Nadia Murad which supports infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and revenue-generating activities in the country. It also aims to facilitate the return of displaced Yazidis affected by conflict with the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French)


Joint declaration of international organizations to promote multilateralism

At the first Paris Peace Forum, leaders of France, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, UNESCO, the OECD, the World Bank, the IMF, and the International Labour Organization adopted a joint declaration promoting multilateral action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), peace, human rights, gender equality, the fight against corruption, and tax evasion.

The declaration aims to mobilize proponents of international cooperation to reaffirm the basic principles (governance, rule of law, human rights) that should govern international relations "at a time where multilateralism is called into question".

Declaration text - Elysée (in French)


French MPs call for more ambitious French development policy and budget

In an open letter published by weekly French newspaper L'Obs, 20 members of French Parliament (MPs) have called on the government to substantially increase France's foreign assistance as soon as next year. The MPs highlighted the need for the French government to demonstrate commitment to development, considering needs in the Sahel region as well as France's forthcoming G7 leadership and its hosting of the replenishment conference for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The authors called on the government to amend the 2019 budget law to allocate 100% of the financial transaction tax to fund development and climate change, an ongoing debate in French development policy

L'Obs website (in French)


French Development Agency joins Blue Action Fund to protect oceans

The French Development Agency (AFD) has announced a €2.5-million to the Blue Action Fund, which aims to protect marine biodiversity in developing countries along support from non-governmental organizations NGOs. The Blue Action Fund is an initiative of the German Cooperation, KfW and BMZ, and since then supported by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. France's contribution comes a few days before the opening of the 'Our Ocean, Our Legacy' conference in Bali, Indonesia. 

Press release - French Development Agency (in French)


French development platform calls for more inclusive approach to French development policy

French Secretary of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne chaired a meeting of the National Council for Development and International Solidarity, a French multi-stakeholder platform gathering public, private, civil society groups and academics in Paris, where participants reflected on new approaches to official development assistance (ODA). Member of Parliament Hervé Berville insisted on the need to adopt a more inclusive approach that includes youth, civil society, business, and the French diaspora.

The reflections come part of a broader consultation process ahead of the revision of France's development programming law, which will secure a financial roadmap to reach 0.55% of Gross National Income (GNI) as ODI by 2022.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French) 


French NGOs criticize drop in tax allocation to development assistance

Coordination SUD, the umbrella organization of French non-governmental organizations (NGOs), has expressed its disappointment after members of parliament decided to decrease the level of revenues mobilized by France's financial transaction tax (FTT) for development assistance from 50% in 2018 to 32% in 2019. 

French NGOs have been campaigning for a 100% allocation of FTT revenues to development assistance and climate change mitigation, starting in 2019. According to Coordination Sud, the €130-million increase in development funding proposed in the 2019 draft budget will not be enough to meet President Emmanuel Macron's pledge to increase development assistance to 0.55% of gross national income (GNI) in 2022 on its own.

Press release - Coordination SUD (in French)