Philippe Douste-Blazy

Not Such Foreign Affairs Publication date : February 1, 2007

“The crises and problems that crystallise beyond our borders represent so many challenges for the nation, for France and for the French. The affairs under discussion here are not as foreign as one might think, since France’s position in the global hierarchy depends on its decisions regarding European and international policy. And whether our standard of living, in our own country, is lower or higher depends directly on the position that France holds in the world.

“During the two years that I have spent at the Quai d’Orsay, under the President of the French Republic, whose voice is heard the world over, I have contributed to our country’s major international decisions. It has been my wish to dedicate myself particularly to a number of issues to complement our usual basic mission, which is the prevention of crises: the health fracture; reducing hunger and poverty; human rights; asserting our language; defending cultural diversity; the environment; economic follow-up. Finally, I have tried to favour a grassroots, more citizenly approach to diplomacy by closely associating local authorities, NGOs, businesses and foundations.

“The international challenges discussed in this book concern each and every one of us. I should like our fellow citizens to appropriate those affairs we call “foreign” but that are really the concern of all French men and women,” writes Philippe Douste-Blazy.

Philippe Douste-Blazy is the French Minister for Foreign Affairs.