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Cablegate: Unga 65: France's Priorities

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #1227/01 2521027
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 091027Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7115
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 7259
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 2333
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 3234
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 3033
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1737
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY 2702

UNCLAS PARIS 001227

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR IO/UNP, EUR/WE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KUNR AORC KNPR APER UNGA UNGA FR
SUBJECT: UNGA 65: FRANCE'S PRIORITIES

REF: A. STATE 90254
B. PARIS POINT 27 AUGUST 2009

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: President Sarkozy's August 26 speech to
French ambassadors provides clear insight into France's
priorities for UNGA and the Pittsburgh G20 summit. These
include, greater "global governance," including economic
regulation and broader efforts to address climate change; UN
reform; bold steps in pursuit of Middle East peace; a serious
approach towards nuclear nonproliferation; and continued
actions to fight terrorism. On September 2, Marc Giacomini,
MFA's DAS-equivalent for UN and International Organizations
provided PolCouns additional information on specific
resolutions France will likely present or support during
UNGA. These include addressing child soldiers (with the hope
of resolving past U.S. opposition), "the Elimination of All
Forms of Religious Discrimination," and perhaps a resolution
on "violence against women" in a manner that Giacomini hopes
will complement a possible U.S. proposal on violence against
girls. France expects to support resolutions on Burma and
North Korea, and Giacomini expects "intense discussions" on
non-proliferation issues between France and its partners in
the run-up to UNGA. END SUMMARY.

SARKOZY'S PRIORITIES TO FRENCH AMBASSADORS PREVIEWS UNGA
--------------------------------------------- -------
2. (SBU) In remarks to the annual French Ambassador's
Conference on August 26 (ref B), President Sarkozy emphasized
a number of themes that will likely form the framework of his
interventions at UNGA 65:

-- Global Governance: in his remarks on the upcoming Summit
in Pittsburgh, Sarkozy was clear that France will push for
"new global regulations" to increase the state's role in
economic coordination and response and to address climate
change. Related to the economy, Sarkozy's vision includes
more efforts at ending "bank secrecy" vis-a-vis tax
authorities, uniform rules on financial markets traders' and
executives' bonuses, and greater regulation of hedge funds.
On addressing climate change, Sarkozy proposed new pricing
mechanisms for the global oil trade, "equitable sharing" of
civil nuclear energy, and instituting carbon taxes and
trading ("de-carbonized growth");

-- UN Reform: France, working with the U.K., is likely to
support an interim Security Council reform as a first step
towards greater reform. In addition, Sarkozy stated that
"all the major UN bodies and specialized institutions must
change, with an obsessive focus on effectiveness;"

-- Broader reach for some international organizations:
Sarkozy advocated for the creation of "a real World
Environmental Organization" to coordinate the "proliferation"
of international organizations addressing environmental
issues. France proposes that this World Environmental
Organization, as well as the International Labor
Organization, be directly involved with the WTO, the IMF, and
the World Bank whenever key aspects of labor or climate
agreements are challenged. The goal is to place labor law,
environmental law, and trade law on an equal footing.

-- Middle East Peace: Providing certain conditions are met,
Sarkozy proposes holding a summit this fall under the
auspices of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) to support
the peace process and press all parties involved to assume
their responsibilities;

-- Nuclear Nonproliferation: Sarkozy underlined the need for
a strong multilateral approach regarding North Korea and
Iran. He chided Iran for not responding to the negotiation
offers put forward by the "six parties" (France, U.S.,
Germany, Russia, China, and the U.S.). He added, "let's be
clear: if Iran doesn't change its policy, we are headed
straight for a crisis;"

-- Fighting Terrorism: Sarkozy noted the on-going threat of
international terrorism and the specific need to help
Afghanistan consolidate the benefits of its recent elections
and to support Pakistan in its more active engagement against
terrorists. France will also increase its assistance to
African countries faced with a growing threat from al-Qaeda.
Sarkozy added, "France will not allow al-Qaeda to establish a
sanctuary on our doorstep, in Africa." (Note: France is
organizing a high-level conference on security/terrorism in
Sahel counties on September 10, with bilateral meetings with
the U.S. in the morning and adding EU partners for the
afternoon sessions. End note.)

THE MFA ON FRANCE'S PRIORITIES FOR UNGA 65
------------------------------------------
3. (SBU) PolCouns, accompanied by Poloff, discussed U.S.
UNGA 65 priorities (per Ref A) on September 2 with Marc
Giacomini, MFA's DAS-equivalent for the UN and International
Organizations, who was joined by Cecile Vigneau, Deputy
Director for Human Rights. Giacomini expressed his
appreciation for the information and said "there is much here
that we can work on together." He added it was not yet clear
if Foreign Ministers were expected to go to Pittsburgh or
remain in New York with Secretary Clinton. Giacomini also
noted that the UNGA would face some time constraints, given
the late start due to the Eid holiday plus the major Global
Fund event and the Pittsburg G20 gathering.

4. (SBU) While not offering a comprehensive assessment of
French objectives, Giacomini briefly presented France's broad
list of UNGA 65 priorities:

-- In the 3rd Committee, France plans to raise again
"children's rights," including restrictions on child
soldiers. Giacomini acknowledged past U.S. difficulties with
this approach, due to issues related to military schools and
also a firm minimum military age of eighteen. He hoped we
could come to an agreement on having the minimum age be
applicable only for combat deployments;

-- France wants to debate a resolution on "The Elimination of
All Forms of Religious Discrimination," as a counter-measure
to efforts to codify "the right of religion," which France
views as potentially discriminatory and could restrict free
speech and cultural diversity. Giacomini admitted that this
proposal will face difficulties in UNGA, especially from the
OIC;

-- France expects to support resolutions on Burma and North
Korea and will likely offer a resolution in concert with the
Netherlands condemning violence against women. Giacomini
noted that France welcomes the opportunity to consult closely
with the U.S. on this since he understands the U.S. is
considering a resolution on violence against girls as one
follow-on item from the Secretary's July trip to Eastern
Congo;

-- There may also be an effort by France and other European
countries to pursue a resolution on "enforced
disappearances;"

-- Giacomini expects "intense discussions" on
non-proliferation issues in the run-up to the UNGA. In other
meetings, France has expressed concerns about the relative
role of disarmament in our non-proliferation efforts and the
need to continue to focus on Iran and North Korea.

THE BROAD THEMES
----------------
5. (SBU) Giacomini confirmed that France will talk about the
need for improved "global governance" on both economic and
environmental issues. A priority under this theme will be
better coordination at helping emerging economies meet new
standards. Developed countries will need to improve their
approaches to financing development in a way that promotes
sustainability. In France's view, engaging Brazil on these
issues will be key.

6. (SBU) Addressing climate change will be another French
priority. Giacomini stated it was understood, and welcomed,
that the U.S. is developing a new position on climate change,
but that "we" need to "set an example" for developing
countries, in particular by stabilizing the level of
atmospheric carbon dioxide.

7. (SBU) Regarding the global economic recession, Giacomini
confirmed that France would be prepared to "fully engage" in
Pittsburgh. According to Giacomini, France's position is
that there cannot be a return to "business as usual," as that
will inevitably lead to another crisis. There will need to
be new models for global regulation -- understanding that we
have different visions of the path to recovery, and different
constraints. It is clear, however, that central banks cannot
"fund the global economy," Giacomini stated.
RIVKIN

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