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Paris Peace Forum

'Nationalism is war' Macron tells world leaders at peace forum

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the start of the Paris Peace Forum, France November 12, 2019.
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the start of the Paris Peace Forum, France November 12, 2019. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron called on the world to ramp up efforts to ease conflict and fight climate change in a speech to world leaders and other high-level delegates at a forum for peace in Paris.

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Some 30 heads of state joined international organisations, activists, entrepreneurs and others at the annual Paris Peace Forum – where the United States was noted for its absence.

In his opening address, Macron warned that “nationalism is war” and asked those present to unite to fight climate change, economic inequalities, terrorism, disinformation and cyber crime.

"We are experiencing an unprecedented crisis in our international system … Europe is the place where the price of non-cooperation is best known," Macron said, adding that the continent was in a position to be "the trusted third party between the US and China".

UN chief Antonio Guterres called for international solidarity on the fate of foreign jihadists being held in the Middle East, saying it was not up to Syria and Iraq to solve the problem for the rest of the world.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and French President Emmanuel Macron at the Paris Peace Forum.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and French President Emmanuel Macron at the Paris Peace Forum. LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

Incoming European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that her vision was for a Europe that “helps to reconcile those who are divided", adding there was a need for “stable and responsible leadership”.

The annual event, which which runs until Wednesday, aims to find solutions to global challenges. Demographic issues, migration and the fight against poverty were among the other topics discussed.

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