Theatrical performance of the play «Letters to Nour» [fr]

Play of « Letters to Nour », - With Rachid Benzine and Mounya Boudiaf
Opening remarks by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 27 June 2018

Messieurs les Ambassadeurs, Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

It’s such a pleasure and privilege for my team and for me to welcome you here this evening to the Institut Cervantes, that I warmly thank.

Nous sommes réunis ce soir pour cette magnifique et bouleversante pièce de théâtre, « Lettres à Nour ». L’auteur de la pièce, Rachid Benzine, nous fait l’immense honneur d’être avec nous ce soir, avec l’actrice Mounya Boudiaf. En notre nom à tous je voudrais leur exprimer notre profonde gratitude d’avoir fait ce voyage pour nous, pour nous permettre de les rencontrer et de voir cette pièce majeure.

Je souhaiterais également remercier tous les co-organisateurs avec nous de cette soirée : la délégation de l’Union européenne ici à New York, les missions permanentes de la Belgique, mon cher Mark, de la Tunisie, mon cher Khaled, du Maroc, mon cher Omar, de l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie très bien représentée aussi ici, ainsi que l’UNESCO, représenté par sa directrice ici à New York, Marie Paule Roudil, que je suis ravi de saluer. L’organisation de cet événement inédit et important n’aurait pas été possible sans votre mobilisation à tous et je tiens à vous en remercier personnellement et très chaleureusement ; comme je remercie aussi les membres de mon équipe, Mylaèle Negga, Chloé Boniface et tous les autres ici présents qui ont donné le meilleur d’eux-mêmes afin de rendre cet événement possible.

So it’s a real privilege for us all to attend this extraordinary play tonight and I will be very brief since we are all here this evening to hear this beautiful and very inspiring dialogue between a father and his daughter, a deeply moving play that Rachid Benzine wrote immediately after the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on November 13, 2015. This play is a remarkable and meaningful counter-speech against all the terrorist narratives, against violent extremism, against the hatred and it’s for me and I’m sure for us all, for you all, a source of inspiration. Une source de réflexion également.

Today’s event could not come at a better time since this week the UN is focusing its efforts on the fight against terrorism and the prevention of radicalization. We will adopt, just to mention one of the highlights of the week among many others, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. I want to take this opportunity, mes chers amis, to thank Vladimir Voronkov and Michèle Coninsx, respectively the head of the office of counter-terrorism and the head of the counter terrorism committee executive directorate at the UN, for joining us here this evening. Their joint commitment in the fight against terrorism is truly exemplary and their presence here with us this evening means a lot to all of us, so I really wanted to thank them.

We thought that this week dedicated to counter terrorism at the UN could be a great opportunity to show how civil society, well represented here this evening, can contribute to the prevention of radicalization. Ce n’est pas seulement une affaire de l’Etat, ce n’est pas seulement une affaire des pouvoirs publics, on le sait tous, la clé du succès de la lutte contre la radicalisation réside vraiment dans la mobilisation de toutes nos sociétés.

This is what this evening is all about. Lettres à Nour has crossed an ocean today, but it had already been staged in France and Belgium, in theaters and in schools, to sensitize people, and especially the younger generations, to the risk of radicalization. In this regard, I would like to thank Ambassador Muriel Domenach, a longtime friend of mine, one of the best French representatives in the fight against terrorism. Thank you Muriel for being here with us and also for the short debate that will follow the play. Ambassador Muriel Domenach is the Secretary General of the French Interministerial Committee on the Prevention of Delinquency and Radicalization. C’est le type de titre qui en français sonne très bien et qui en anglais apparait un peu bizarre franchement. Mais c’est un plaisir Muriel que tu sois avec nous ce soir. In this capacity, Ambassador Domenach has been working tirelessly for this cause and to develop our latest National Action Plan to Prevent Radicalization. The plan is called “Prevent another to Protect” and was made public last February. Merci Muriel.

To conclude, let me take this opportunity to pay tribute to all the victims of terrorism. Our mission is to create environments for us, for our neighbors, for our sons and daughters that are free of violence, free of terrorist propaganda, and this starts on the internet, - the place Nour met her husband from Daesh. So we must fight against the terrorist narrative, wherever it may be, online and offline, and find new ways of neutralizing it. This is also what this play is all about. You can count on France to stay at the forefront of international effort in the fight against terrorism, you can count on President Macron’s strong commitment in this regard. So my warmest thanks to each of you for attending this important event this evening - and please join me in welcoming Rachid Benzine and Mounya Boudiaf.

Merci à tous.

Dernière modification : 24/10/2019

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