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Visit to France by Ms. Michelle Bachelet (May 21 to 25, 2012)

Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) will visit France from May 21 to 25.

On May 24, Michelle Bachelet will meet Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs. This meeting will provide an opportunity to exchange views on the major international issues in the field of women’s rights and the strategic priorities of UN Women.

During this visit, Laurent Fabius will sign with Ms. Bachelet a cooperation agreement between France and UN Women that will allow us to strengthen our exchanges and our cooperation.

Michelle Bachelet, who has already met with Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of Women’s Rights, will also be received by Jean-Pierre Bel, President of the Senate, on the morning of Friday May 25, and by Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs and Health (morning of May 23).

Michelle Bachelet will also participate in the OECD Forum, sign a cooperation agreement with the International Organization of La Francophonie, and participate in meetings with UNESCO at Sciences Po and the Institut du Monde Arabe. She will also participate, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in an exchange with the main French NGOs working in the field of women’s rights.

Women’s rights are one of the priorities of France’s external action with respect to human rights:

-  France notably contributed to the adoption of the Security Council resolutions “Women, Peace and Security" and adopted a national action plan to implement them in October 2010. These resolutions underscore the need to strengthen the protection of women in armed conflict and enshrine the principle that the full participation of women in decision-making processes, on an equal footing with men, is a key factor in establishing and maintaining lasting peace.

-  France was also instrumental in establishing within the Human Rights Council a working group on discrimination against women in law and in practice.

-  France actively participated in drafting the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, to which it was one of the first signatories (May 2011), and the ratification process of which is under way.

-  Lastly, France fully supports UN Women and provides almost €8 million in funding as part of its contribution and in support of actions such as the program to combat violence in the Arab world and sub-Saharan Africa and the program to promote women’s access to justice in Afghanistan and the fight against maternal and infant mortality.


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