French National Day - 14th July
Speech of HE Sophie Aubert, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
Dear Hon’ble State Minister, Cher Ministre M. Nasrul Hamid
Chers amis, Dear guests,
A very good afternoon to All! Bonjour, One year ago, on our National Day, my country, our country France suddenly and again, faced a terrible terror attack in Nice. 86 people died and more than 400 were injured, from many nationalities.
And as you know, two weeks before this tragedy, Bangladesh faced a similar terror attack. Today I want to remember all the victims and family victims of these terrorists who challenge our civilization.Coming back to 14 July 2017, I am proud to be the first French ambassador to celebrate our national day in our new premises. Because this embassy is not only our embassy, it is the Franco-German Embassy.
And that’s the reason why on the occasion of this Bastille Day, I would like to focus on France and its European environment, and how my country sees the world, including regarding our relations with Bangladesh. This embassy depicts the strong strategic relationship that we France and Germany have built together for now 60 years.
It illustrates the determination of our two countries to work together to overcome the many challenges that we are all facing today, at the domestic, European and global levels. Poverty and extremism are some of these challenges, but we also have to address together optimistic issues, such as our global action against climate change, which has to be responsive, and our project of building our Europe.
These orientations are fully in line with the European priorities, which are France’s priorities as EU Member State, and our commitment, as France, is to implement these priorities, without forgetting our national interests, our special relationship with Germany, and our global responsibilities.
For example, our President decided that France would again take the lead on the climate issue, and he announced in Germany that France would hold a global summit on climate change in December, two years after the successful negotiations on the Paris Agreement.For Bangladesh this is a vital issue; the Embassy has worked a lot on it along with Bangladesh over the last three years, and we will keep on doing so. Our President also announced that France would be fully committed to bringing the international community a step forward on the environmental issues. We will propose to work on a Global Pact for Environment.
This is important because nobody can deny that some countries are very close to go to war on the access to water, for example. A legal commitment to preserving our global environment is from our point of view necessary to keep a peaceful and sustainable world.
Coming back to Europe, the reason why I have decided today to highlight the growing integration of our French policies to the European ones is because I and a large majority of the French people are deeply convinced that the stronger the EU is, the stronger we are.
You may know that together, we are the first trading partner and the first foreign investor for almost every country in the world, and together we invest more in development cooperation than the rest of the world combined.
France is part of this powerful entity, contributing to our European Union through our democratic values, our creativity and our dynamics, under the leadership of our new President, whose election has really infused a new breath in Europe, and we are proud of this. And my country, as you may know, wants to assert its ambition to be the place to be for the next mega-events of the century. France is candidate to host both the 2024 Olympic Games and the 2025 World Exhibition.
I am confident we will get these two mega-events because I feel that the coming years will be promising years for France. In Bangladesh, as for France, I will not start recalling the projects and figures illustrating our longlasting bilateral relationship. For decades, we’ve been partners for development, for business and for many other issues such as scientific cooperation, or intercultural exchanges.
To summarize our relation, I would recall that our business, development and scientific cooperation are underpinned by the mobilization of our resources on strategic sectors vital for Bangladesh, such as health, power, water, security and defense…
We have a series of iconic projects on their way, such as the satellite project with Thalès Aliena Space, the water treatment plant for Dhaka, with Veolia and Suez, the Chittagong refinery with Technip… We look forward to developing more projects in Bangladesh and with Bangladesh, including in the field of blue economy, where we can bring our experience, for the benefit of all the partners involved. I wish this strong bilateral relationship continues in the future, in the interest of both our countries.
Vive la France, vive le Bangladesh et vive l’Europe !