The presentation of credentials of H.E. Mr Michel DJOKOVIC, Ambassador of France to H.E. Mr Baron WAQA, President of the Republic of Nauru

The presentation of credentials of
H.E. Mr Michel DJOKOVIC, Ambassador of France
to H.E. Mr Baron WAQA, President of the Republic of Nauru

(Yaren, 31 March 2016)

Your Excellency,

I am very pleased to be in Yaren today, and I am greatly honoured to present to Your Excellency the credentials by which the President of the French Republic, Mr François Hollande, has appointed me Ambassador to the Republic of Nauru.

Oceania has a very special place in the heart of the French people, whose forefathers draw maps of a number of islands in the region in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today more than 540,000 French citizens live in the South Pacific in three French territories, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna.

I have a personal experience in the region: before my present posting, I was stationed in Vanuatu as Ambassador and before that I was in Paris as Director of the Oceania Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is why I have a certain knowledge and a particular feeling for this part of the world which is so beautiful, with a very rich and dynamic culture, yet also very fragile.

In this respect, climate change issue has been very high on the agenda these past few years, culminating last December with the COP21 conference where a historical agreement was achieved. The role of the small island states was instrumental in reaching this agreement and everybody knows that Nauru, as chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) from 2012 to 2015, played an important and positive role.

Your Excellency,

Prior to this important conference the President of the French Republic had the pleasure to welcome you in Paris for the 4th France-Oceania Summit in which France reaffirmed its links with the region and pledged to continue to support by all means the vulnerable Pacific island states in facing the new challenges ahead.

These are not only words. France is a founding member and is still one of the main contributors to the Pacific Community (SPC, with its headquarters in Noumea) and to SPREP. France is also a proud founding member of the European Union. France plays an important role in the EU decision making process and contributes heavily, as well, to the European Development Fund.

Out of the 2.4 million euros that the EU has pledged for the next 5 years for Nauru only, France contributes nearly 20 per cent, which is about 480,000 euros (or 712,000 Australian dollars) in respect to the distribution criteria among member states for the European budget. We are glad to contribute, by this action and through the 11th EDF programme, to the development of renewable energies and energy efficiency in your country.

France is often considered the home country of Human Rights because it is the country where the first Declaration for the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was proclaimed, back in 1789. France, in a constructive spirit and together with the EU, is standing by Nauru on her way to fulfil her commitments and especially the ones taken at the Nauru last Universal Periodical Review in November 2015 in Geneva concerning the situation of women and children, and also freedom of expression and the abolition of the death penalty.

Your Excellency,

I have the honour to present to Your Excellency the letters of credence by which the French President, Mr François Hollande, has appointed me as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Nauru, as well as the letters of recall of my predecessor.

- END-

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Published on 06/04/2016

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