French official statements : Paris, july 18th 2013
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Philippe Lalliot, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman (Paris, july 18th 2013)
Presentation by Mr. Laurent Fabius of France’s new cultural diplomacy (Lille, July 17, 2013)
Yesterday in Lille, at the end of the Cooperation and Cultural Action Network meetings, Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented France’s new cultural diplomacy.
Mr. Fabius notably reaffirmed the need, in the context of increased international competition, to ensure that the diplomacy of influence conducted by our cooperation and cultural action network is consistent with all of our diplomatic efforts.
This is now contributing to our country’s economic recovery by supporting the international expansion of companies, by promoting our country’s attractiveness, by encouraging the teaching of our language and the spread of our culture, and by supporting efforts to host foreign students in France, for whom the process of issuing visas will be simplified.
The methods used to exercise influence must be coordinated based on the need for economic recovery and must support the sectors that are of strategic importance to France, such as tourism, research and development and the promotion of heritage and arts and crafts.
In order to address this challenge, France has many advantages that can be even more widely promoted : the cultural and creative industries which already represent 5% of our exports, the audiovisual sector which must have strategies that are tailored to every region of the world, the digital revolution which is providing new opportunities for investment and the academic and scientific exchanges supporting the international development of our universities.
France also has the largest cultural network in the world, the boundaries of which will be redefined, notably in order to allow us to have a greater presence in the emerging countries.
Lastly, our language is a major asset, notably in Africa which could soon have more than 700 French-speaking people. Mr. Laurent Fabius confirmed our attachment to an ambitious policy to promote the French language.
A gay rights activist has been killed in horrifying circumstances in Cameroon. What is France’s response ?
France was appalled to learn of the murder in Yaoundé of Mr. Lembembe, a gay rights activist in Cameroon.
We extend our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones. We would like full light to be shed on the circumstances surrounding this crime, and the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
France reaffirms its attachment to the respect for the rights of LGBT persons and to the protection of human rights defenders.