I am pleased and honored to celebrate again in your company the French national day, the “Bastille day”.
On the same national day last year, I told you that the value of fraternity was challenged. Unfortunately, a few hours later, a cruel act of terrorism in France confirmed the threat. Let me tell you how moved I was with all the messages of sympathy I received on that unfortunate occasion.
But today, we have all the good reasons to rejoice from the bottom of our hearts.
French citizens have elected a young and energetic President, Emmanuel Macron, who won the popular vote by a non-ambiguous margin including in Kathmandu. Thanks again to all of you for congratulating me for that election!
The French voters have also elected a deeply renewed Parliament, with 75% new members, 5 years younger on average than in the previous House. It strongly supports a government based on strict gender parity and a balance between senior politicians and non-politicians.
By their votes, the French people have clearly chosen an open France, open to the world, open to the European Union, open to movements of people, open to free and fair trade based on strengthened competitiveness.
Together with our German partners, our leaders aim at building an active European Union which protects better our citizens against terrorism and climate change as decided by the Paris agreement in 2015 and endorsed last week in Hamburg by the G20; an Union which promotes free and fair trade of which the signing of an EU-Japan economic partnership agreement is a recent example.
By a striking coincidence, Nepal successfully went through a parallel political renewal. The local elections, on 14th May and 28th June, have been an undisputable success. I will never forget the atmosphere of enthusiasm, seriousness and joy expressed by the Nepali voters in the polling stations we visited. That was a historical event in your democratic process.
So it is with great confidence that I wish continued success to your peaceful transition, including the next electoral steps.
Peace and stability go hand in hand with economic progress. France is exporting to Nepal this year even more planes and helicopters made by Airbus and ATR.
We just celebrated the production by OT-MORPHO of 5 million MRP passports and the same company is also involved in launching smart identity cards for the Nepali citizens.
Building a cable car, based on a French-Nepalese consortium, can be a success story responding to the strong wish of Kathmandu citizens for a better environment and a better managed public transportation.
In that regard, I am happy to announce that the French Ministry of Culture has decided to provide funding to UNESCO in order to send experts to Nepal to support the rehabilitation of your exceptional heritage.
France is also continuously funding NGOs actions such as rebuilding of schools in cooperation with their Nepali counterparts, as you can see on photos we project tonight.
Yves Carmona is the Ambassador of France to Nepal. This is an excerpt of the Statement Delivered at the French national day, the “Bastille day”.