France releases new press kit on G7 priorities and agenda

France has released its priorities and important dates of its G7 2019 presidency in a new press kit. The 2019 G7 will focus on inequality, in particular sustainable development, women's empowerment, global health, climate change, peace, and Africa. The press kit also details France's vision for a renewed partnership with Africa, which will consist of a partnership on jobs creation and economic growth, as well as an initiative with G5 countries to increase support to the 'Sahel Alliance' on education and health.

A range of key ministerial meetings—focused on gender equality, and health, social, foreign and economic policy—take place before the official summit in Biarritz from August 24-26, with further details available in the press kit.

Press kit - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French)


NGOs meet G7 diplomats in Lyon to discuss inequality

French non-governmental organization (NGO) platform Coordination SUD and the G7 NGO Global Taskforce organized a working session related to the 2019 G7, which takes place under France's leadership with the aim of reducing inequality. Before a face-to-face meeting with G7 diplomats, participants discussed policy recommendations and tactics to use opportunities provided by the G7 agenda to tackle gender, health, social, and climate inequalities, as well as to promote food security and peace. NGOs notably pointed out the need for the G7 to consider initiatives reinforcing multilateralism and the UN, to be held accountable for its own actions, and to consider the needs of all citizens.

Website - Coordination SUD (in French)


European donors solidify financial and political commitments to SRH/FP

A trend analysis of European donor financing for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and family planning (FP) reports strengthened financial and political commitments in the past year. SRH/FP funding was largely protected, even where cuts to official development assistance (ODA) were made. 10 of 12 European countries either increased or maintained funding to SRH/FP. They also featured it strongly as a component of humanitarian and long-term development policies. Denmark showed the most significant increase in percentage growth in funding for SRH/FP, and together the 12 European donor countries in the analysis increased funding by 17% over 2016. The UK, Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden remain the largest donors.

Report – Countdown 2030 Europe

French economic minister launches French G7 presidency

French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire kicked off the French 2019 G7 Presidency with a conference on 'Redefining Capitalism in the 21st Century'. 800 participants attended the conference, which opened with a keynote speech by Melinda Gates who made the case for financial digital inclusion for women in developing countries.  

Le Maire said France's 2019 G7 presidency will be an opportunity to reduce inequality, specifically:

  • Tackling fiscal inequality
  • Fighting inequality in international investment
  • Balancing inequality among financial actors: 
  • Reducing inequality within developed countries

The G7 summit will take place in Biarritz at the end of August.

Press release - Ministry of Economy and Finance


French president and WHO director-general discuss global health agenda and Global Fund replenishment

French president Emmanuel Macron and director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus met in Paris on January 11, 2019 to discuss the global  health agenda. Macron announced the launch of a WHO office in Lyon to support urgent responses to health crises, which will feature a training center.

Macron noted the importance of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 Action Plan and highlighted France's support for the initiative. He also referred to the US$14 billion investment required for the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria's replenishment, which will be held in Lyon on October 10, 2019.

Press release -Elysee (in French)


Two million people petition French government for action on climate change

1.9 million people have signed a petition in favor of suing the French government, accusing it of inaction on climate change, while four NGOs - Oxfam, Greenpeace, Notre Affaire à Tous, and Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme - have initiated legal proceedings alleging that France has not respected its climate change obligations. The filing gives the government two months to formulate a response, after which the organizations can choose to move forward with their lawsuit in a court.

The petition, supported by influential YouTubers, was signed one million people in less than 48 hours and should reach two million in the forthcoming days, an unprecedented record for an online petition in France.

Website - L'Affaire du siècle (in French) 

Website - Oxfam France (in French)


French G7 summit to focus on inequality

France is set to host the G7 Heads of State Summit in Biarritz from August 24-26, 2019, with a focus on inequality, notably gender inequality, and access to education and quality health services in developing countries. The summit will also aim to tackle environmental inequality by mobilizing additional funding for climate change, and through the One Planet Summit side event, which will identify concrete solutions for climate change, biodiversity, and marine conservation.
France’s G7 agenda will also cover fair trade, fiscal and development rules, and the taxation of digital companies, as well as the the reform of the World Trade Organization. The fight against terrorism and its funding, as well as how to harness the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence and digital technologies will also be discussed. A new organization, similar in role and scope to the IPCC on climate change, will be proposed to support ethical and responsible digital technologies. Meanwhile, a range of stakeholders will be invited to contribute to the discussions, including the C7 (NGOs), the W7 (women's rights organizations), the T7 (think tanks), the Y7 (youth groups), the L7 (trade unions), the B7 (private sector), and the S7 (academics).

A preliminary meeting will take place on January 22, 2019 at the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Paris, with a focus on adjusting the liberal economic model to better work with the challenges and opportunities of innovation, new technologies, inequalitym and corporate social responsibility. 

Website - Les Echos (in French) 


France announces its priorities as president of G7 in 2019

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian has offered details on the 2019 French presidency of the G7, which will culminate in the G7 Heads of State summit in Biarritz August 24-26. The central theme will be inequality, with a particular focus on pay, the fight against tax havens, social protection, education, gender equality, digital divide, climate change, global health, and environmental issues (biodiversity and protection of oceans). The French G7 presidency will also discuss peace and counter-terrorism, as well as promotion of fair trade and fiscal and development policies.

The G7 platform will be used to reinforce multilateralism through the inclusion of five international organizations and additional countries to the traditional G7 membership, such as South Korea, Australia, Mexico, India, and some African countries. Eight dates have been released for G7 ministerial meetings in 2019 on the following themes:

  • Foreign and Home Affairs (April 5-6)
  • Environmental Affairs (May 5-6)
  • Gender Equality (May 9-10)
  • Health (May 16-17)
  • Work and Employment (June 7)
  • Development and Education (July 4-5)
  • Finance (July 17-18)

Civil society will be included in the G7 preparation through separate preparatory meetings with NGOs (C7), youth (Y7), trade unions (C7), the private sector (B7), think tanks (T7), and scientific organizations (S7).

Website - French G7 presidency

News article - AFP (in French)

France releases new priorities of its human-rights strategy

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian announced new orientations of France's human-rights strategy, which will focus on:

  • Support to victims of religious and ethnic violence
  • Security of journalists
  • Protection of asylum seekers
  • Civic and political rights
  • Defense and protection of LGBT people
  • Promotion of international human-rights law and multilateralism
  • Defense of international criminal justice and universal abolition of the death penalty

Le Drian stated that France will defend those principles during the French presidency of the G7, at the UN Security Council in March 2019, and in the Council of Europe in May. 

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


EU and France commit €1.3 billion for the Sahel

The EU and France increased their funding for the G5 Sahel anti-terror alliance to US$1.4 billion at a two-day summit in Mauritania. Concluding the summit, the EU said it would add US$138 million, for an EU total of US$885 million, while France announced an extra US$243 million, bringing total French funding to US$553 million for the program. Half of this sum is for projects already planned or underway, while the other half remains to be awarded.

The Sahel Alliance was launched in July 2017 by France, Germany, and the EU as a joint military force commanded by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. Much of the EU money will come from the European Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, which aims to reduce migration to the EU from the Sahel, Lake Chad, Horn of Africa, and North of Africa regions.

News article – Euractiv

EU France