France’s action to help the victims of ethnic and religious persecution in the Middle East

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Daesh’s deliberate strategy to eliminate whole communities on the basis of their ethnic or religious affiliation, and its desire to systematically destroy all forms of cultural diversity in the Middle East, cannot be ignored.

On 8 September 2015, France and Jordan chaired a conference dedicated to the victims of ethnic and religious persecution in the Middle East.

This ministerial conference brought together some 60 delegations, as well as representatives of the United Nations, the European Union and other international organizations. Following on from the United Nations Security Council meeting of 27 March 2017, the conference aimed to identify concrete measures to address all aspects of the situation:

  • meeting the needs of endangered populations and preparing for and facilitating the voluntary and permanent return of displaced persons;
  • promoting political solutions that respect human rights and preserve the cultural and religious diversity of the Middle East;
  • putting an end to the impunity of perpetrators of ethnic or religious crimes which may, in some cases, constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.

At the end of the conference, and as announced in New York on 27 March, an action plan was adopted. The Co-chairs’ conclusions are also available online.

On 18 January 2017, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, opened the meeting of the third committee to the Paris conference, in the presence of Members of Parliament, local elected officials and NGOs. On that occasion, the decision was made to maintain the support fund created during the Paris conference to assist persecuted populations and to endow it with a total of €10 million over two years. It will fund projects that seek to ensure decent living conditions for displaced persons and refugees and, where possible, to enable them to return home permanently.

On 24 May 2017, a follow-up conference will be held in Madrid. The agenda will include an update on France’s efforts in support of the victims of ethnic and religious persecution.

Updated: May 2017

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