French National Day 2015
Speech of HE Sophie Aubert, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
Dear Hon’ble Foreign Minister, Mr Mahmood Ali,
Dear compatriots and friends,
It’s a pleasure for me to welcome all of you to celebrate our National Day in Dhaka.
France is proud of its name and history, and this Day is a special opportunity for us to remember our past and the long way we have walked in order to shape our country, that we want to be a country of freedom, solidarity, spirit and intelligence.
Being here for a few months, my mission is to strengthen the relations between our two countries.
The visit to France of His Excellency Hon’ble Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali, in June, was a very important step in our bilateral relations and I’m happy to confirm here that Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that he would pay a visit to Bangladesh before the end of the year.
Bangladesh and France share many priorities: the success of COP21, the international framework for climate negotiations, is the priority of the year for France and this priority is shared by Bangladesh. For more than two decades, since the very beginning of the climate negotiations, France and Bangladesh have been very close because we share the same concern: protecting and building our future. I would like to thank Bangladesh for its strong support on this issue.
France and Bangladesh are also working very closely on maritime issues. Both our countries are maritime countries. France has contributed through its knowledge of the oceans to the recognition of the Bangladesh maritime boundaries, and my country is proud of the scientific cooperation we have started to develop with Bangladesh in order to increase our mutual knowledge of the earth and oceans; I hope this cooperation will grow and that very soon we will also work together from the space. Some of you know what I mean.
In our global world, where economy has such an importance, our vision to the future is to develop a sustainable, climate friendly and low-carbon economy. We have started to build this world in France. Bangladesh has also made an immense effort in the fields of reforestation and solar energy. The French Government and our private sector are convinced that new models are necessary to get sure that this vision of a sustainable world can be a reality. This was the political message of the Business and Climate Summit of Paris, in May of this year. My wish is that France and Bangladesh, including their respective private sectors, will work together in order to achieve this goal, here in Bangladesh.
I would like to underline another field of our bilateral relations: both our armies, through the peacekeeping operations of the United Nations, have an old tradition of friendship and partnership. We are fighting together against the same enemy, and we French people highly appreciate the contribution of Bangladesh in the war against terrorism. This war is global but it is also very present in our lives. We are fighting on our land and you are fighting on yours.
My country is also very proud of the cultural links we have developed with Bangladesh since even before the inception of the country. Our two countries are fond of arts and culture, and we venerate our respective languages: French and Bengali languages have played an immense role in the creation of our respective nations and, as such, they are a strong and dynamic part of our culture.
My final words will be for the European project. Europe is our future, but Europe will be strong only if its member states are strong. Bangladesh and its neighbours are completely right to think regional and we encourage Bangladesh to go forward with its neighbours, because this is the future.
These were some of the privileged aspects of our bilateral relation I wanted to focus on.
Most of all, I would like to renew my thanks to the Republic of the People’s Government of Bangladesh for the warm welcome they have always given to France.
Joy Bangla, Vive la France!