Our National Day

HE Sophie Aubert, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
Wednesday, July 12th, 2017


Like every year, this year, France celebrates its National Day on July 14. Last year that very day, an awful terror attack caused horror in Nice and in the whole country. In the last twelve months, France and other countries in the world have been suffering other terror attacks. Just two weeks before July 14, 2016, Bangladesh also faced a murderous attack. But none of our countries surrendered.


Today is a happy day. France elected a new President and we are very proud to have collectively overcome the divisions. Our President represents a new hope for France, but also for all Europe. We are living a unique opportunity to create a new dynamics in Europe after Brexit, with our strategic partner, Germany, and other countries, but within the European Union. Because, in France, we are convinced that the stronger the EU is, the stronger our respective Member States are.


You may know that together the EU and its Member States, we are the first trading partner and the first foreign investor for almost every country in the world, and together we invest more in development cooperation than the rest of the world combined.


Here in Bangladesh, this year is also a very important year for France, because we moved to our new Franco-German Embassy. This Embassy illustrates the strong relationship we have with Germany.  This relationship is strong and vital not only because it is a way to overcome our past, but because it is our future. Our Franco-German Embassy is a project looking towards the future. France and Germany together, we are stronger, and here in Bangladesh we have started building a new, exciting story.


This year is also an exciting year because the global community is reshaping our world. In France, we want to contribute to make this world stronger and safer.


Terrorism remains a main issue that we have to address. This is what we are collectively doing within our borders, but also in Iraq, in Syria, in Sahel, and wherever cooperation is needed to face this threat. We are determined to keep on fighting until we will have erased the Islamic threat represented by ISIS and Al-Qaida.


But we also have more optimistic issues to address. I consider climate change and environmental issues as optimistic issues, because I can observe that apart from some isolated exceptions, the whole world is convinced that these two issues are fundamental to preserve our planet. We all know that we have only one planet and that there is no “plan B”. A funny thing is that after President Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, we have observed huge mobilization worldwide, to reaffirm the world’s attachment to this agreement. The US withdrawal accelerated the ratifications of the Paris Agreement, and from all over the world, local collectivities, municipalities, multinational private companies have reaffirmed their commitment to implementing this Agreement, many of them from the US. Our President decided that France would again take the lead of the movement. France will hold a Climate Summit in December for this purpose. But we will also initiate and support the project of a Global Pact on Environment, to be endorsed by the international community under the leadership of the United Nations, in September this year.


Another reason why 2017 is a decisive year for France is that we have decided to be candidate to two mega-events: the 2024 Olympic Games and the 2025 World Exhibition. We want to share with the world our love for games and we want to show the world how creative our country can be, to prepare a better future – because world exhibitions are always a unique opportunity to create what can become an iconic symbol for the future. Think about the Eiffel Tower for example! We also want to show the world that the ISIS ideology will never stop us: we want to preserve our way of life, we are determined to keep on celebrating what we are, we are determined to value our creativity and our dynamism, and these two mega-events will be extraordinary opportunities for France to share with the world our values, because they are what we are.


Vive la France, Vive le Bangladesh et Vive l’Europe!

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