Cablegate: French Declaration On Innovative Sources Of

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

071509Z Sep 05




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. A) SECSTATE 162146

B. B) SECSTATE 160080
C. C) SECSTATE 160131
D. D) USUN 2047


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: We delivered points per refs A-C, but
France continues to support its idea for a tax on airline
tickets and other innovative sources of financing for
development. The GOF does not plan for its draft declaration
to be contentious, but does intend to go ahead and release it
at the High Level Event (HLE), using a press conference
procedure identical to the release last year of its New York
declaration. END SUMMARY.


2. (SBU) We delivered reftel demarches to the Foreign,
Finance, and Development Ministries, and followed up with
visits to relevant officials. The GOF is unmoved by our
arguments against presenting a separate declaration in
connection with the High Level Event (HLE) Outcome Document
(OD) at the September 14-16 Summit in New York.

3. (SBU) According to Regis Pelissier, Director of the
Office of International Financial Systems and Summit
Preparation at the French Ministry of Economy, the fact that
Chirac himself has supported the airfare tax makes it highly
unlikely GOF policy will change. We also spoke with
Sebastien Hua, desk officer at the MFA for financing for
development issues. Hua took note of our concerns about a
separate declaration, and despite assuring us the GOF also
seeks to work to reach a consensus on an OD, confirmed the
GOF intent to proceed with its separate declaration. In
terms of the understanding reached in Gleneagles about the
French proposal for a "solidarity contribution" on airline
passenger tickets, he pointed out that the French position is
fully consistent with the G8 position. Hua said the G8
statement left it to each country to fashion its own
mechanisms to provide ODA, and it specifically promised that
the G8 would &take forward innovative financing mechanisms
including the IFF for immunizations, (and) an air-ticket
solidarity levy...8 He acknowledged that an additional tax
is not proving to be a popular idea, but the idea behind the
French-hosted 2006 conference is to discuss implementation
with those countries that choose to participate. The idea is
that the tax would be administered by individual nations and
channeled to specific development projects.

4. (SBU) Hua said the GOF will not try to divert attention
from the OD, but it will use its declaration to promote the
air-ticket tax. Procedurally, the GOF envisions an event
just like last year, where the signatory countries hold a
press conference to present the separate declaration.

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