Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will take part on May 14 in the International Follow-up Conference on the Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East, hosted by Belgium and co-chaired by Lebanon.
This conference follows on from the conference in Paris on September 8, 2015, and the conference in Madrid in 2017.
The minister of state will reaffirm France’s constant commitment: Ethnic and religious diversity is an inherent part of the Middle East’s identity. Its preservation is key to building a future of peace, freedom and prosperity in this region. In the post-Daesh period, it is essential to provide special protection to members of religious and ethnic minorities, and to implement the necessary measures to ensure the safe, lasting and dignified return of the displaced persons, as well as an inclusive political process that ensures respect for individual rights.
As part of the implementation of the Paris Action Plan at the national level, France established a fund to support projects by French NGOs on the ground that benefit threatened minority communities.
Managed by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ crisis and support center, this fund has received €5 million annually since 2015 and is supplemented by funds paid into by local governments. Some €18 million have been allocated via this fund to finance concrete projects for the period of 2015-2017.
The fund received €5 million for 2018, and several projects are already being supported this year, with most carried out by NGOs in Iraq. Others are under study.
With the senatorial group of liaison, reflection, vigilance and solidarity with Christians and minorities in the Middle East, which has existed since 2015, and a similar group in the National Assembly, French parliamentary diplomacy also plays an important role in protecting these populations.