Press Advisories

11. 11. 201820:56

The Prime Minister attended peace celebrations in Paris and stressed the need to help poor countries

On Sunday, 11 November 2018, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš continued his visit to Paris. The main points of the program were celebrations commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and the Paris Peace Forum.

The ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, which was attended by many prominent statesmen from all over the world, included a military parade, reading letters written by soldiers on 11 November 1918, musical performances and the ignition of the unknown soldier’s fire by President Macron. It was followed by lunch organized by the French President at the Elysée Palace. “Emmanuel Macron’s idea to invite so many politicians to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I was great. He invited 84 presidents, prime ministers and heads of state. It was a great event, and he had a fantastic speech that I loved”, said the Prime Minister.

In the afternoon, the Paris Peace Forum took place. The Prime Minister attended a public debate in the presence of France’s President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and other representatives of international organizations. Andrej Babiš gave a speech in the panel together with other Prime Ministers. The Czech Prime Minister stressed the role of the European Union as a unique peace project. Furthermore, it is necessary to reflect on the functioning of the United Nations, particularly with regard to the funds spent on arms. “If we are serious about fighting for peace, combating climate change and helping the poor, we must ask ourselves whether the huge arms spending could not be partly used on aid. We need to help people where they were born to have a better life and to live in their natural environment, to be satisfied there and not migrate to Europe. We cannot save the whole planet”, said Prime Minister Babiš.

At the Paris Peace Forum the Prime Minister contributed to the creation of the Peace Library, choosing the book War with the Newts by Karel Čapek. “Every statesman should contribute one book that inspired him. I chose the work of the Czech giant Karel Čapek and his War with the Newts. It says very well that wars do not happen overnight but they come gradually if we do not pay attention to their causes”, added the Prime Minister.

During the forum, Andrej Babiš also met with Richard Allan, Vice President of Facebook for Europe, Middle East and Africa. They discussed in particular the fight against fake news and fake accounts, on which Facebook is also cooperating with European Commissioner Věra Jourová.

The wife of the French President Macron Brigitte invited the Partners of the statesmen to a joint lunch at Versailles and then to a Vienna Philharmonic concert at the Royal Opera. The event was also attended by the Czech Prime Minister’s wife Monika Babišová.

Prime Minister Babiš will end his visit to Paris on Monday, when he will also meet Centre Pompidou President Serge Lasvign and give a speech at Sciences Po.