29 November 2015

Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H. E. François Hollande, President of France

The Secretary-General met today with H. E. François Hollande, President of France, on the eve of the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, COP21.

The Secretary-General commended the determination and the courage of the French President and the French people in convening this crucial event so soon after the Paris attacks. He thanked President Hollande and his Government for their constant and undeterred leadership on the issue of climate change.

The Secretary-General and the President discussed extensively the status of the negotiations for the adoption of an agreement in Paris, identifying key issues still under discussion and considering ways forward. They agreed that failure to reach an agreement was not an option and would have disastrous consequences. They also reiterated their commitment to work in close collaboration throughout the Conference.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the issue of counter-terrorism. The Secretary-General stressed that he would soon present a comprehensive Action Plan on preventing violent extremism and hoped that France would support a strong resolution on the subject. The Secretary-General and President Hollande agreed on the necessity of a coordinated fight against terrorism and shared their concern of a growing influence of Da’esh beyond Syria and Iraq.

Against that background, they stressed the need to reach a political solution to the conflict in Syria, as well as the urgency of forming a national unity Government in Libya. They also reiterated their support to Mali, condemning the recent attack against a MINUSMA base in Kidal.