12 January 1996

Press Release


19960112 PARIS, 12 January -- In the morning of Thursday, 11 January, the Secretary-General attended the official ceremony at Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral commemorating the late President François Mitterrand.

The Secretary-General then attended a luncheon hosted by President Jacques Chirac at the Elysee Palace, for all the heads of State and government attending the ceremony.

In the evening, he met with Foreign Minister Herve de Charette. During the meeting, which lasted approximately 75 minutes, they discussed a number of international issues, including the situation in Burundi and the need for preventive diplomacy there, and the situation in Rwanda, particularly with regard to Rwandan refugees in Zaire and the United Republic of Tanzania. They also discussed the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and French participation in the International Police Task Force, as well as the situation in Eastern Slavonia, Cyprus and Western Sahara. The Secretary-General and Mr. de Charette reviewed the ongoing programmes of reform of the Organization, including proposals by Member States.

On Friday, 12 January, the Secretary-General met with President Chirac. The meeting, which took place at the Elysee Palace, lasted for 90 minutes, and touched upon a wide range of issues, including reform and restructuring of the United Nations and the Organization's financial situation. The President of France reiterated his support for the convening of a special session of the General Assembly to discuss the Organization's financial crisis.

The Secretary-General and President Chirac agreed on the importance of providing the Organization with the uninterrupted resources necessary to meet its mandates in the fields of social and economic development. Development assistance to countries in need was also discussed at length, especially in light of the forthcoming G-7 Summit meeting due to be held in Lyons, France, in late June. President Chirac confirmed the invitation addressed to the Secretary-General to attend the G-7 meeting as observer, and to participate in the Summit's discussion on development.

The Secretary-General and President Chirac also discussed the situation in Rwanda, particularly with regard to the refugees, Burundi, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the conflict between Eritrea and Yemen.

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* Issued to update information.

For information media. Not an official record.