Source: France-Diplomatie – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development
Published on June 24, 2022
1. Democratic Republic of the Congo – Conversation between Minister Catherine Colonna and the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs – Statement by the Spokesperson of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (Paris – June 23, 2022)
Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna spoke today with Christophe Lutundula, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The minister reaffirmed France’s commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and all the countries of the region. She condemned current offensives by the M23 movement and the actions of other armed groups including the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Cooperative for Development of the Congo (CODECO) and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). She expressed her support for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) in its fight against armed groups in the eastern DRC.
The Minister expressed France’s concern over the upsurge in hate speech against communities and individuals.
She spoke out in favor of easing tensions and pursuing a dialogue with Rwanda within the framework of existing diplomatic initiatives and mechanisms. She expressed France’s support for the Nairobi Process and for the mediation effort led by Angolan President Joao Lourenço, with backing from the African Union.
The two ministers also discussed various aspects of bilateral cooperation between France and the DRC.
2. Food Sovereignty – FARM initiative : Launch of a global coalition of private stakeholders for international food resilience – Press release (Paris – June 23, 2022)
Ms. Catherine Colonna, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and M. Marc Fesneau, Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, today brought together stakeholders in the private sector, alongside Mr. Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, and Ms. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
The meeting provided an opportunity to mobilize businesses in support of the international initiative FARM (Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission) set up to address the food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine and help the most vulnerable countries. The meeting also involved representatives of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Launched by the French President in March 2022, in conjunction with our European Union partners, the G7 and the African Union, the FARM initiative was endorsed by the European Council in March. It is based on three pillars – trade and transparency, solidarity, and sustainable production – aimed at ensuring fluidity and transparency in cereal trade, guaranteeing cereal supplies to vulnerable countries at an affordable price, supporting Ukrainian production and exports through the European “solidarity corridors” initiative, and developing sustainable agricultural production capabilities, particularly in Africa. Through FARM, the European Union will support effective multilateral mechanisms which, thanks to the WFP’s action, will enable vulnerable countries suffering the consequences of the war unleashed by Russia to find an effective and transparent alternative. The French and European private sector committed to solidarity has a full role to play in this arrangement.
Following the meeting, the private stakeholders launched the Global Business Coalition for Food Security, with the support of France, the European Commission, the EIB, United Nations organizations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Through the coalition, which will continue expanding in the coming months, businesses pledge, each according to their ability, to ensure that the three pillars of FARM are implemented in a spirit of solidarity.
The ministers and businesses wished to show in practice the solidarity of the private sector, whose support and active participation will be decisive in the face of the global food crisis aggravated by the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine. Alongside the ministers, the President of IFAD, the Executive General of the WFP, the European Commission and the Vice-President of the EIB, the following private stakeholders took part in the working meeting: Archer Daniels Midland, Axereal, Blue Like an Orange Sustainable Capital, Bonduelle, Bunge, Florimond Desprez, Cargill, CMA-CGM, Coface, la Compagnie Fruitière, Crédit Agricole, Danone, Géocoton, Invivo-Soufflet, Limagrain, Louis Dreyfus Company, the Groupe Roullier, Vivescia, Yara and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
This private-sector mobilization, on the eve of the interministerial food security conference in Berlin, in which Ms. Colonna and Mr. Fesneau will take part, is an important step in showing practical solidarity on the ground with the countries hardest hit by the food crisis.