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France and Germany together against anti‑Semitism France

23.01.2015 - Article

On 22 January, Minister of State Roth and his French counterpart Désir spoke out against anti‑Semitism at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

On 22 January, Minister of State Roth and his French counterpart Désir spoke out against anti‑Semitism at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York. Roth stressed that the joint appearance of the Ministers of State on Franco‑German Day was a clear sign that both countries were united and resolute in their fight against anti‑Semitism and racism.

Joint press conference by Roth and Désir
Joint press conference by Roth and Désir© AA

The big debate of the United Nations General Assembly on the topic of anti‑Semitism falls on a special day. 22 January is the anniversary of the signing of the Franco-German Élysée Treaty in 1963 – and thus, as is the case every year, an occasion for the Governments of both countries to pay tribute to and shine the spotlight on the great importance of the Franco‑German partnership.

Anti‑Semitism: a danger to society

Minister of State Roth during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly
Minister of State Roth during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly© AA

This year Minister of State Michael Roth and his French counterpart Harlem Désir took part in a thematic United Nations special session: together with over 100 other speakers from UN Member States they discussed the challenges posed by anti‑Semitism around the world.

In his speech, Roth said that the rising number of attacks on Jewish institutions and the use of antisemitic slogans at demonstrations in many countries – including in Germany – gave cause for concern. Anti‑Semitism did not just pose a threat to Jewish communities but to society as a whole, he continued, saying that he and his counterpart Désir would therefore take part in this special session on Franco-German Day in order to emphasise their strong commitment to shared values. The Minister of State added:

We do not want the Jewish communities in our countries to become a minority in need of protection. We want them to have a place at the heart of everyday life of our society.
Roth and Désir at the United Nations General Assembly
Roth and Désir at the United Nations General Assembly© AA

Click here to read the speech given by Minister of State Roth to the United Nations General Assembly in full.

Freedom and humanity in the place of fear and terror

Before travelling to New York, Roth had already said that his “show of alliance” with Harlem Désir in New York was a clear sign “that our two countries are united and resolute in our fight against anti‑Semitism and racism”. This applied even more in light of the attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris in early January, said Roth, continuing:

The response to the shocking attacks in Paris is the same in Germany and France: freedom and compassion are what lead the way to our future, not fear and terror.

In the afternoon Roth and Désir jointly visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the American Jewish Committee in New York.

Further information

Speech by Minister of State Roth at the United Nations General Assembly (22 January 2015)

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