Even if the French can prove using actual studies that a few of a France's not-so-former African colonies have witnessed an absolute increase in numbers of French speakers, and I have yet to see any, the overall picture for Africa will of an absolute decline, given that Africa's most populous countries are seeing their disenfranchised populations turning their backs on French, and when it comes to global numbers, the decline of French is nothing short of a catastrophe, a huge blow indeed to inflated French egos.
Now back to your post, kian-paul: "Obviously you are determined to demonstrate that the French language has no future and everybody should use English. Infact, I loathe the idea of a Republic. Sorry besides I am German being fond the friendship between France and my country " The French are not your friends.
They are exploiting you Schmucks. Exploitation is not friendship. French is in decline in most countries in which it has official status. Read my blog. They have even blocked users from editing it to prevent people adding facts that don't fit into their nationalist agenda.
Put a bit more effort into it. It is in decline in Lebanon. Click the link Lebanon on the right-hand side of this blog. Everybody knows that French is in decline there. Are you really that ignorant? Do you have some command of French? France will shoulder its responsibilities regarding Iran, uncompromisingly and without naivety, by maintaining close dialogue with our partners, which include the Gulf States.
In this regard, over the past year, we have moved forward at much faster pace than in the last 60 years. We have made unprecedented progress, including strengthening our common defence policy since summer , creating a defence fund to finance tangible initiatives, concluding two strategic agreements concerning tanks and combat aircraft with Germany, and concluding with eight other Member States the European Intervention Initiative that I proposed in September to promote the idea of defence between Europeans. Europe has realized that it has to protect itself and France has shouldered its full responsibilities in this realm, through the military defence budget signed into law on 14 July which provides an updated strategic vision of these new threats facing our country and realistic means to address them.
France and Europe have identified the new modern-day threats and realized that we need strategic and defensive autonomy to address them. In the coming months, I plan to spearhead a project to strengthen European solidarity in security matters. We should give more substance to Article 42 7 of the Treaty on European Union, invoked by France for the first time in , after the terrorist attacks.
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France is ready to enter into concrete discussions with European States on the nature of reciprocal solidarity and mutual defence relations under our Treaty commitments. Europe can no longer entrust its security to the United States alone.
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It is up to us to assume our responsibilities and to guarantee European security and thereby sovereignty. We must fully take on board the consequences the end of the Cold War.
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Allies today are still extremely important, but balances, and sometimes the reflexes on which they were built, need to be reviewed. And that also means that Europe should also act accordingly. This enhanced solidarity will involve a review of the European defence and security architecture.
This will include initiating renewed dialogue on cyber security, chemical weapons, conventional weapons, territorial conflicts, space security and the protection of polar regions, especially with Russia. I would like us to engage in broad discussions on these issues with all of our European partners, and therefore with Russia. Substantial progress towards resolving the Ukraine crisis, and compliance with the OSCE framework — I am thinking particularly of the situation of observers in the Donbass — will clearly be the prior conditions necessary for real progress with Moscow.
But that should not prevent us from working between Europeans starting today. I am counting on you to do this. We will also revisit this European architecture, reaffirming the relevance of the Council of Europe — France will chair its Committee of Ministers in — and the relevance of our democratic values. We must not give in to the forms of fascination — which we are seeing more or less throughout the European Union — for illiberal democracies or types of efficiency that involve abandoning our principles.
Our security is rooted in the reaffirmation of our values, of human rights, which are the very cornerstone not only of the Council of Europe but also of the European Union, and in defending all those who uphold them each day, including NGOs, intellectuals, artists, activists and journalists. Here too, we will have several initiatives to adopt on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly.
The second goal I assigned for our diplomats a year ago was to promote common goods: the protection of our planet, culture, the education of our children, public health, trade and cyber space, all of which are aspects of our global heritage that must be defended. But in order to do so, we need collective rules that are accepted by all; these are essential for smooth cooperation and hence to progress in defending those common goods. But the leading threat to our common goods is the crisis of multilateralism itself.
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Indeed, multilateralism is undergoing a major crisis, with an impact on all of our diplomatic efforts — primarily because of US policy. Doubts concerning NATO; the aggressive unilateral trade policy leading almost to a trade war with China, Europe and a few others; withdrawal from the Paris agreement; and denunciation of the nuclear agreement with Iran are all examples of this.
The partner with which Europe built the post-war multilateral order seems to be turning its back on this shared history. France has always been the first and the most forthright country when it comes to expressing its opposition to these decisions, always working to persuade before such decisions are taken, and to maintain the crucial high-quality dialogue between our two countries.
And I fully stand by this approach. While participating actively in traditional multilateralism, China, for its part, is promoting its own world view, its own vision of a reinvented, more hegemonic multilateralism. Other powers are not really playing the game in multilateral cooperation, and for them, the collapse of this supposedly Western order will not be overly problematic. In this context, France is sometimes criticized for continuing its dialogue, its efforts with the United States, yet it is obvious — even in the current situation — that dialogue with Washington remains essential.
And I must tell you that in my view, the situation is very different from the one that is most often described. First, because the isolationist or rather the unilateralist trend that the United States is currently experiencing is not completely new — it has already existed in the distant past, if you look at Jackson, and it had already begun with the previous administration in certain theatres of operations and in certain parts of the world. This American position is of course undermining contemporary multilateralism because it is hampering effectiveness and may lead to the emergence of alternative, more hegemonic models incompatible with our values.
But in my view, it should be seen as more of a symptom than a cause, a symptom of the crisis of contemporary capitalist globalization and of the liberal Westphalian multilateral model that goes with it. But this economic, social, and political order is in a state of crisis.
First, because it was unable to regulate the excesses that were inherent to it: trade imbalances that deeply affected certain regions, which are losing out in globalization; long overlooked environmental disasters; and significant inequalities within and among our societies. From Brexit to the current US position, it is this same uneasiness with contemporary globalization that is playing out.
And the answer, to my mind, is not unilateralism, but rather a reinvention, a new conception of contemporary globalization. This capitalist globalization accelerated financial flows and led to a hyper-concentration of technologies and talents as well as profits, which fostered the emergence of actors who disrupt and undermine our collective rules.
It created both big winners and big losers. That is a fact. Those who believed in the advent of a globalized world whose people were protected from the wounds of history were deeply mistaken. Throughout the world, the inner psyches of people in each of our countries have resurfaced, and we are seeing this from India to Hungary, from Greece to the United States. Look closer: these inner psyches are often exploited, sometimes inflamed, but they are a reality that says something about the return of the identity of peoples. It is probably a good thing, or at least I believe so.
It is a sign that this undifferentiated globalization was not the answer to everything, that it failed to respond to certain points, and that we must therefore rethink its rules and practices, precisely as a result of these failures and these changes. The great demographic transformation, which is shaking up Africa and Europe, and indeed, all the continents, it must be said. The great ecological and environmental transformation, more critical than ever.
The great shift in inequalities and the great technological transformation. First and foremost, that presumes — and this is a prerequisite, if I may say so — changing our diplomatic approach to some extent. We can no longer be satisfied with monitoring political changes or statements by traditional actors without attempting to better decode the deep-seated identities, the forces that are at work and which are determining the course of events in many countries. I think we must do more of this and reinvent our own methods.
We probably should have a better understanding of this intimacy in order to better anticipate the course of events. But we should also grasp what is progressive and humanistic in these world views, i. We must accept that doing this will require alliances of convenience, alliances that are tactical and concrete, depending on the issues, and based on clear principles and objectives, always respecting the national sovereignty of peoples.
I have already spoken about this. It limits military interventionism, or more precisely, it means we must always act as part of a dynamic and a political project that are as close as possible to the people. But it also means that we must always work to ensure that all non-State actors contribute to this new way of regulating the world, that they respect the rules and are not somehow its clandestine passengers or hidden arbiters. The answer, then, is not unilateralism but rather a way of reorganizing our efforts around a few strategic common goods, and by building new alliances.
First and foremost, with regard to the fight against climate change, the Paris Climate Agreement must continue to be defended. Every day, the urgency of this fight is confirmed with the intensification of climate extremes and natural disasters. We are continuing to fight this battle, and we will continue to pursue concrete actions.
That event will be followed up by another international summit on 26 September in New York. We must continue mobilizing all the actors involved in this fight: businesses, NGOs, local governments, and major international foundations. This fight for the planet will remain central to our foreign policy, as reflected in the attention given to this issue during my visits to the Holy See, to China and India, and in particular with the first summit of the International Solar Alliance that we organized with India.
It must also translate into the negotiation and adoption of a new global pact for the environment, which I consider a priority, and which will imply the commitment of all our diplomats, as well as actively preparing for key stages in biodiversity negotiations in and And mobilization on the oceans and the poles will also require the commitment of many diplomatic posts. Environmental diplomacy is vital when it comes to responding to this major upheaval in the world. It is vital because of the French and European commitment in this area; because it is enabling us to form new alliances, especially with China and several other powers, thereby enabling us to build a new form of international cooperation; and because at a very deep level it serves our interests in the short, medium and long term.
The second universal good that we have again made central to our international cooperation policy is education, culture and knowledge. Indeed, France demonstrated its commitment by co-hosting with Senegal the replenishment conference of the Global Partnership for Education in Dakar a few months ago, which raised more than two billion euros for education in the world, especially for girls, and for which France increased its contribution ten-fold. In my view, this is our universalist, humanist role, but also the most crucial contribution we could make to addressing the demographic crisis I mentioned earlier.
And that is something that France must be able to talk about. I was repeatedly attacked when, a little more than a year ago, I addressed this issue in Hamburg, but African leaders themselves courageously took up the subject and stance and are addressing it. And show me countries where young women all choose to have eight or nine children, show them to me, before saying that it is a form of neo-imperialism to raise this issue in Paris.
No, we must help those who are speaking about this in each of their capitals. Fighting for education is the best response to all forms of obscurantism and totalitarianism. Education, culture and intelligence are at the heart of this battle, which we must wage everywhere.
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It is the only sustainable response to the global demographic challenge. And we will therefore fight at length against inequalities, especially those between men and women. That is why I have made education an absolute priority, both in our country and abroad. And I deeply believe that on this issue, France has an unprecedented role to play, first of all because of its history and tradition.