Paris '07 Workshop
Welcoming remarks of the 24th International Workshop on Global Security
Ing. General Robert Ranquet
|Ing. General Robert Ranquet, French Dep. DIrector for Strategic Affairs, welcomes participants to the 24th International Workshop in the Hilton Toits de Paris room, overlooking the Eiffel Tower.|
Bienvenue a tous! Je suis heureux de vous accueillir ici.
Welcome to everyone! I am very happy and honored to welcome you here on the “Toits de Paris,” the “Roofs of Paris,” on behalf of Minister Herve Morin, the new minister of defense. He is not able to join our seminar this year as scheduled, and I apologize on his behalf. Some of you may know that here in France we are experiencing some rather bumpy, chaotic days. The new French president was just elected, the government is only partly formed, and we will soon have elections at the Chambre des Deputes, the House of our national parliament, all of which make the political landscape in France rather busy and a bit shaky.
Following the last elections Minister Morin emerged as a key person because he comes from the center, but he joined what is mostly seen as a rightist government. However, no one in France these days knows exactly where the right, the left, and the center are—everything seems to be a bit puzzling. Whichever way you think of it, though, Minister Morin is clearly at the center of things, and because he is of high political importance he needs to be on the front line of the political battlefield, which is where he is right now and will be through the rest of the workshop.
The Paris Hilton, our lovely venue, is a very nice place, so when you go back home you will be able to tell your friends and relatives—to their amazement—that you have been visiting the Paris Hilton and not some jail in Los Angeles! This is truly a spectacular place, and I understand from reading the program that we will be visiting other spectacular places during the seminar. Tomorrow night we will be at the Hotel des Invalides, which is a terrific palace from the 17th century, with all the French grandeur. The day after we will be visiting the Musee Jacquemart-Andre, which is a gorgeous mansion that was owned by very wealthy people of the 19th century and houses an amazing art collection.
At the reception now, we have a tremendously high level of experts gathered from government, industry, and academia, and I am pleased to see so many well-known and friendly faces. Roger Weissinger and his excellent team have as usual done a terrific job of organizing the seminar. As we head off now for two and a half days of discussing security issues at the highest and most expert level, I look forward to hearing all of your exciting ideas and I wish you all the best for the next three days.