Thursday, February 26, 2015
Hollande beats the Drum in Manila
At the midpoint of Hollande's less-than-distinguished presidency he has the chance to seize the initiative for France, and for his own legacy, on the world stage, as Le Monde was quick to notice, as well as to cement some climate-related contracts with French businesses in the vulnerable precincts of the Philippines. At the same time the Philippines is asserting its leadership of what an official called the "G-20 of most vulnerable nations."
Meanwhile in the US, the only coverage of Hollande's 'Manila Appeal' (overtones of General DeGaulle?) seems to be the extremely negative account by the AP, calling attention to the limited funds raised so far for mitigation among poorer countries such as the Philippines. Yes, the developed countries will have to pony up much larger sums, as Hollande did note, and yes, those funds may be hard to pry loose (though Environment Minister Ségolène Royal pointed to sources in the financial sector). The importance of Hollande's profile-raising exercise is nonetheless confirmed by the continuing near-blackout of major efforts like this one to build momentum for Paris.