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Cablegate: France: Human Rights Council Priorities

VZCZCXRO5810
PP RUEHAG RUEHAT RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHFR #1250 2581046
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151046Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7143
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZJ/HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY 2705
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 3036
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1741

UNCLAS PARIS 001250

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL UNHRC EU FR
SUBJECT: FRANCE: HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL PRIORITIES

REF: SECSTATE 93374

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: France concurs with a large part of U.S.
key goals for the 12th session of the Human Rights Council
(HRC) and solicits United States support for initiatives that
they are sponsoring, according to MFA Assistant Director for
Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Cecile Vigneau, who
spoke to poloffs on September 9 in response to reftel
demarche. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Welcoming U.S. re-engagement with the HRC, Vigneau
confirmed France's support for the continuation of the
special procedural mandates for Somalia and Cambodia, but
added there was more information forthcoming on Burundi. If
the third bi-annual review of the Strategic Framework's
implementation of the UN Integrated Office for Burundi
(BINUB) determined the need for continuing the mandate,
France would support it. On a Freedom of Expression
resolution, Vigneau conveyed France's shared concerns about
the Russian-sponsored traditional values resolution and noted
that there is currently a Swedish text seeking a unified
European Union policy on the issue. She noted that the EU
has not yet reached consensus on the language of the text, as
the fundamental problem of the resolution to France is not
the question of values but rather assuring universal human
rights and freedoms. Vigneau remarked that France
anticipates the Russian resolution on the issue to be
increasingly problematic.

3. (SBU) French priorities for the session include stressing
the need to work together on the broad range of issues facing
the HRC and to continue consulting frequently and regularly
on a bilateral and regional level. The GOF was pleased to
hear that the U.S. supports the French/Colombian/Mexican
initiative for the creation of a mechanism that would combat
discriminatory laws against women. Vigneau stated that
France will also be working with Mexico on an initiative to
reform the HRC and would appreciate a U.S. endorsement of the
effort. There is some concern that Russia may be trying to
produce its own proposaal on HRC reform.

4. (SBU) France seeks U.S. support for adopting the French
initiative on the Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and
Human Rights. Co-authored by Peru, Chile, Belgium, Albania,
Romania, the Philippines, Morocco, and Senegal, Vigneau
recounted that GOF had experienced much resistance on the
part of South Africa initially but the two countries have had
positive exchanges on the issue in the past year.
Recognizing that the text of the initiative is long and
complicated, France hopes that the draft guiding principles
will gain passage with the support of the United States as
well as Brazil, India, and China, who are also interested in
the issue. Additionally, Vigneau mentioned that the French
support the British initiative on Burma that will be
presented at the 12th session.

RIVKIN

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