Thursday, August 20, 2009

Biography of New U.S. Ambassador to France & Monaco

Charles H. Rivkin was nominated the Ambassador of the United States ofAmerica to France on June 1, 2009 by President Obama and was sworn into officeon August 3, 2009.Charles Rivkin recently served as the President and CEO of Wildbrain, anaward-winning entertainment company, from 2005-2009. Prior to joiningWildbrain, Mr. Rivkin worked for the Jim Henson Company. He served as thePresident and Chief Executive Officer from 2000-2003 and as the President andChief Operating Officer from 1995-2000. Mr. Rivkin was the Executive VicePresident and Chief Operating Officer from 1994-1995, Senior Vice President andChief Operating Officer from 1991-1994, Vice President from 1990-1991, andDirector of Planning from 1988-1990. Mr. Rivkin served on the Jim HensonCompany’s Board of Directors from 1990-2005. Other work experiences includeserving as a financial analyst with Salomon Brothers from 1984-1986 andinternships with Renault and Columbia Pictures.

Mr. Rivkin was recently involved with a number of outside organizationsincluding: Member, Pacific Council on International Policy, since 2007; Member,Homeland Security Advisory Council, Business Executives for National Security,2008-2009; Member, Young Presidents’ Organization, 1996-2009; Chairman, Bel-Air, 2004-2005; Director, Save the Children, 1997-2003; Director, Chrysalis-Changing Lives through Jobs, 1996-2002. Mr. Rivkin is the recipient of an awardfrom the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for the Best InternationalChildren’s Television Show and is also a recipient of the Spirit of ChrysalisAward.

Since 1968, Mr. Rivkin and his family have presented the U.S. StateDepartment’s “Rivkin Award,” honoring “intellectual courage and constructivedissent” in the American Foreign Service. Mr. Rivkin received his M.B.A. fromHarvard University and his B.A. in political science with distinction ininternational relations from Yale College.

Juy 2009 Testimony of Ambassador-Designate to France & Monaco, Charles H. Rivkin Before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Testimony of Charles H. Rivkin
Ambassador-Designate to France and Monaco
July 7, 2009
Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Thank you, Madam Chairwoman and members of the Committee. I‟d also like to thank my Congressman, Henry Waxman, for his kind words.

I‟m very pleased to have with me today my lifelong friend and brother, Robert Rivkin, whom I‟d like to introduce to the Committee. I also want to acknowledge my wife Susan Tolson and my children Elias and Lily Rivkin. Although they are unable to attend this hearing, I wouldn‟t be here without their endless support.

Madam Chairwoman, it is a tremendous honor for me to appear before you today as President Obama‟s nominee to serve as the United States Ambassador to France and Monaco. I am deeply grateful to both President Obama and Secretary Clinton for the trust they have placed in me to serve as Chief of Mission to our oldest friend and ally.

France has always shared our nation‟s core values and has been a tireless champion of democracy, freedom and human rights. Today, our partnership is stronger than ever, and as President Sarkozy recently observed “...never in the history of our two countries have the United States and France been so close to one another on major issues, major questions.” Both our countries understand that when America is united with a strong Europe, no issue is too great for us to solve together. To underscore this resolve, President Obama made a point of visiting France twice during his first five months in office. If confirmed by the United States Senate, I intend to build on the existing, positive momentum between the United States and France and use this unique moment in time to further strengthen and deepen our already strong relationship.

If confirmed, I hope to bring an energy and fresh perspective to one of America‟s most important partnerships. We are at the beginning of a new and historic era in French-American relations that was recently highlighted by France‟s decision to rejoin NATO‟s integrated military command structure after a 43 year absence. Today, France stands by our side and is an indispensable ally on almost every major issue. France is fighting against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda with our troops in Afghanistan and has provided critical financial support for counter-insurgency efforts in Pakistan. As a leader in the EU, France has worked closely with us to advance a two-state solution in the Middle East and continues to play a central role in maintaining coordinated, international pressure on Iran. France is a leading voice on climate change and a strong ally in energy and security matters. Monaco is also a good partner for our country in environmental protection, international development and other important global issues.

As a former CEO with international experience, I‟m pleased to note that over $1.3 billion in commercial transactions take place every day between the United States and France. French subsidiaries in the U.S. provide nearly 500,000 American jobs and the U.S. is the largest foreign investor in France employing over 600,000 French citizens. If confirmed, I will work with the French government to ensure continued free and open trade between our two countries.

I also hope to build on the successful efforts of my predecessors in making public diplomacy one of the top priorities for our mission to France and Monaco. I believe my history and media background have prepared me well to engage Europe‟s young generation of first time voters by helping to create a sense of common values and purpose with the United States. Following Secretary Clinton‟s vision of 21st century statecraft, I hope to engage Europe‟s future leaders through digital technology and „smart power‟ initiatives which will open doors and create new opportunities for dialogue.Finally, if confirmed I would hope to use the skills I‟ve acquired as an MBA and CEO to lead the large and complex embassy operation in Paris. I have spent my career building and managing organizations and look forward to helping maximize the effectiveness of our Mission to France and Monaco.

Members of the Committee, I also want you to know that having the chance to represent our country‟s interests in France would be deeply personal for me. My father, William Rivkin, marched in Patton‟s army and was awarded the French Chevalier-Publique for his role in the liberation of France. He then went on to serve as Chief of Mission in French speaking countries where I lived as a young boy; Luxembourg under President Kennedy and then Senegal and The Gambia under President Johnson. Although my father died while serving his country in 1967, he instilled in me the belief that public service is not only an obligation, but the highest possible honor. I always dreamed of following in his footsteps, but never imagined that I might have the opportunity to serve in a country that I admire as much as France.

When I was a young man, I had the wonderful experience of living with a French family in Rennes while studying at the Institut Franco-Américain and had the chance to explore the countryside in Brittany, Normandy, Burgundy and Franche-Comté during my stay. I worked as a “stagiaire” for Renault in Paris and have taken countless business trips to France over the last twenty years. These experiences have given me a deep appreciation for France as well as the French people and culture.I have always been active in public service, but I am particularly fortunate to have been connected to the U.S. State Department for most of my life through the American Foreign Service Association. My family and I have proudly presented the William R. Rivkin award at the State Department for the last 42 years, honoring mid-level Foreign Service Officers who exhibit “intellectual courage and constructive dissent” in the line of duty. I have had the chance to witness how the brilliant, hard working and often under-appreciated men and women of the U.S. Foreign Service change the world through their tireless efforts on behalf of our country. President Obama once served as a judge for this award, which was founded on the belief that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

Madame Chairwoman and members of the Committee, if confirmed by the United States Senate, I will do everything in my power to strengthen and deepen the ties that have bound France and America together since the birth of our great country. I look forward to this extraordinary challenge and hope to have the chance to serve the United States of America at this important moment in history. Thank you, and I look forward to any questions you might have.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

L'Avortement Thérapeutique Devient Légal en Principauté

L'Avortement Thérapeutique Devient Légal en Principauté
A 21 h 30, hier soir, les conseillers ont légalisé l'avortement thérapeutique. : Photo Marc Mehran
jeudi 02 avril 2009

Les conseillers nationaux de la majorité et de l'opposition ont voté, hier soir, en bloc, pour la dépénalisation de l'interruption médicale de grossesse

La boîte trônait sur le bureau en arc de cercle de l'hémicycle. Une boîte bleue, toute simple, contenant... des préservatifs. Un objet incongru au coeur d'un parlement et pourtant... Cette boîte prenait tout son sens, hier soir, en plein débat sur le projet de loi visant à légaliser l'interruption médicale de grossesse. Laquelle a été validée à l'unanimité peu avant 21 h 30. Sous des applaudissements nourris. Cette boîte de préservatifs, amenée par Jean-François Robillon, conseiller national, de surcroît médecin, sonnait comme un défi. Une boîte pour rappeler, à l'évidence, les propos du pape sur les préservatifs.

Préservatifs dans l'hémicycle
Mais surtout une boîte pour fustiger les propos tenus par Monseigneur Barsi, l'archevêque de Monaco, dans notre édition de mardi. Et Jean-François Robillon de s'élever « contre les bien-pensants dogmatiques ».
Traits graves, verbe soigneusement choisi, l'assemblée a offert hier soir un visage déterminé. Tant dans les rangs de la majorité que de l'opposition. Des élus déterminés à se débarrasser « d'un archaïsme d'un autre temps », selon Anne-Poyard Vatrican. Jusqu'à hier soir, selon la loi monégasque, une femme violée méritait encore dix ans de prison si elle avortait en Principauté.

Il est peu d'écrire que les conseillers nationaux ont été choqués par les propos tenus avant-hier dans notre journal par Monseigneur Barsi. Tous l'ont exprimé. Choqués également par les propos du comité de bioéthique diocésain, dans notre édition d'hier. « Le point de vue de l'église catholique, sur la question de l'avortement, si j'ai du mal à le comprendre, je le respecte », a souligné Catherine Fautrier. « Mais pourquoi attendre la veille du vote du texte pour s'exprimer sur le sujet de manière aussi sévère et provocatrice, sinon pour jeter le trouble une dernière fois ! (...) La réalité, c'est qu'il y a un monde qui évolue et une église catholique qui reste malheureusement en marge de cette évolution, et je le regrette. » Et Catherine Fautrier de souligner : « Personne ne peut se mettre à la place de la femme enceinte confrontée avec son conjoint à un choix douloureux, qu'il soit celui de mettre fin à une grossesse désirée, ou celui d'élever un enfant lourdement affecté et handicapé. »

Peu avant, Stéphane Valeri, président du Conseil national, avait lui aussi évoqué un texte « singulièrement assombri par des expressions de dernière minute ». Le président a ensuite exhorté les conseillers : « Rassurez nos compatriotes sur notre dignité et notre capacité à ne pas tomber dans le piège qui nous est tendu. Nous pouvons être fiers de la méthode qui nous a permis d'arriver à ce texte. Elle répond en tout point à la volonté exprimée par notre prince souverain de mettre en place un groupe de travail en charge d'arriver de manière pondérée et équilibrée à ce résultat. Cette loi n'imposera rien aux femmes, mais leur donnera simplement le droit de choisir. »

Dans les gradins fournis du public, Monseigneur Fabrice Gallo, le curé de Sainte-Dévote, prenait consciencieusement des notes. Le ministre d'Etat, Jean-Paul Proust, avait en préambule souligné « que ces dispositions n'ont pas un objectif moral. Cela relève de la conscience de chacun et j'écoute à ce sujet avec beaucoup de respect le message de notre archevêque qui s'adresse à la conscience de chacun. Notre projet de loi a un objectif plus modeste... Il se contente de supprimer des sanctions pénales infligées par la société à la maman et au médecin dans des situations douloureuses bien précises. »

A 21 h 30, la messe était dite.
Grégory Leclerc

French Article on Church's Protest of Monaco's Effort to Legalize Abortion

Projet de légalisation de l'IMG a Monaco : l'Eglise proteste
Posté le 31 mars, 2009 -

Une telle confrontation entre les autorités monégasques et l'Eglise de Monaco n'était pas arrivée en Principauté « depuis le règne d'Albert 1er », explique-t-on à l'archevêché à propos du projet de loi sur l'interruption médicale de grossesse (IMG), que le Conseil national doit voter demain soir en séance publique.

Sur ce sujet éminemment polémique, surtout dans un pays où la religion catholique est religion d'Etat, Mgr Bernard Barsi, archevêque de Monaco a des mots très durs :
« Dans ce projet de loi, c'est surtout un symbole qui semble visé. Mais d'aucuns, ici ou ailleurs, ne supportaient plus cette exception monégasque dont un long travail de sape idéologique avec ses relais médiatiques a pu venir à bout avec le texte qui nous est proposé. »

« Il est navrant qu'à une période de son histoire politique et constitutionnelle où la Principauté de Monaco acquiert une plus grande indépendance et insiste sur sa spécificité culturelle, on choisisse délibérément de s'aligner sur d'autres pays pour y rechercher de prétendus modèles de société. »

« Si bien qu'il est désormais facile de prévoir la suite si ce projet venait à être voté car il est à craindre qu'il ne soit que la première étape d'un processus qui a suivi partout ailleurs le même scénario qui ne fait que commencer. »

« Quand on dit que ce projet ne concerne que les cas extrêmes visés par le texte, on ne dit pas la vérité et on cache la réalité. Tout le reste risque de suivre et le pire est à redouter parce qu'on n'aura de cesse de prétendre mettre Monaco au diapason du minimum de standard éthique. On ne peut pas appeler progrès ce qui constitue une régression dans la considération due à la dignité et à l'intangibilité intrinsèques de l'être humain ».

Un projet de loi contraire à la Constitution ?
« A ce titre, on pourrait s'interroger sur la compatibilité de ce projet de loi avec notre Constitution. Ce texte inspire des réserves quant au respect de la liberté de chacun eu égard aux insuffisances de la clause de conscience telle qu'elle est prévue à l'article 5 II in fine.

Les dispositions générales et particulières de ce même article 5 paraissent faire peu de cas de l'article 20 alinéa 2 de notre Constitution quant au « respect de la personnalité et de la dignité humaine », à l'interdiction de « traitements cruels, inhumains ou dégradants » au regard du droit de l'enfant à naître.

D'une manière générale, on ne peut pas faire non plus l'économie d'une mise en perspective de ce texte avec l'article 9 de la Constitution : quelle signification peut bien avoir le maintien de l'attachement réaffirmé à notre religion catholique comme religion d'Etat si, par ailleurs, on propose des législations qui sont notoirement incompatibles avec des principes que cette religion a toujours qualifiés de « non négociables » ?

La foi catholique n'est pas seulement un corpus de traditions et de rites ;
elle est aussi vie, cohérence de vie, et elle est pour la vie ».

Source : Nice Matin


Archbishop Barsi's 2006 Statement Re Monaco's Aborton Vote



Une proposition de loi vient d'être déposée devant le Conseil National en vue d'une éventuelle légalisation de certains types d'avortements. Avant même de connaître l'issue de la procédure qui vient de s'ouvrir et des débats contradictoires auxquels elle donnera lieu, je tiens à rappeler quelques principes fondamentaux qui relèvent non pas d'une morale religieuse mais de la loi naturelle elle-même qui s'applique à toute société civilisée moderne :Les progrès de la science nous apprennent que la vie commence dès la conception. Ce que l'on appelle "interruption de grossesse" - quel qu'en soit le motif - reste donc un avortement, c'est-à-dire la suppression d'une vie.Un des fondements premiers des droits de l'homme est l'intégrité de sa personne à tous les stades de sa vie.La loi civile ne peut jamais faire l'économie de la loi morale. Ce n'est pas en légalisant "l'interruption de grossesse pour motif médical ou viol" que l'on aidera vraiment les femmes, les couples et les familles, mais plutôt en les accompagnant, dans nos institutions, par la mise en place de mesures de solidarité concrète.Instruit par l'expérience de tous les autres pays, je crains par ailleurs des excès. Je crains en effet que l'interruption de grossesse pour motif médical n'aboutisse, tôt ou tard, à la libéralisation totale de l'avortement (IVG).Je souhaite qu'avec le courage de la vérité, sans démagogie et dans le respect des convictions de chacun, nous cherchions ensemble à construire un pays modèle où la vie de son commencement à son terme naturel sera toujours respectée.

A Monaco, le 12 octobre 2006† Bernard BARSI
Archevêque de Monaco

Christian Telegraph on Monaco's Decision to Legalize Abortion

See Original Article Date 4/9/09 on the internet at:

Catholic Monaco Made Decision to Legalize Abortion

The Catholic nation of Monaco, one of the last holdouts against the tide of abortion legalization in the European continent, has approved a new law permitting abortion for "hard cases," including rape, fetal deformity, fetal illness, or danger to the life of the mother, reports Matthew Cullinan Hoffman,

The law was passed unanimously by Monaco's National Council, its parliament, in a 26-0 vote, despite the fact that 90% of its population is formally Catholic. The legislation had been in process for five years.
Archbishop Pernard Barsi of Monaco reportedly blasted the measure as being "incompatible" with the constitution of Monaco, which recognizes the Catholic faith as the state religion.

"When they say that the text [of the law] only concerns extreme cases, they are not saying the truth," said Barsi. "There is a risk that all of the rest will follow and the worst is to be feared because they will not stop trying to conform Monaco to the lowest ethical standards."

Members of the council denounced Barsi for his criticisms, claiming they were made at the last minute. However, as LifeSiteNews has reported, Barsi has been denouncing the measure since at least 2006.

Monaco was one of the last three nations in Europe where abortion is illegal. The other two countries are Ireland and Malta.

**A report of Monaco's legalization of abortion was also reported on the "Catholic Family" website of the National Association of Catholic Families in the UK under "International News" at the URL cited below:

Anti-Catholic Article on Monaco's Unconstitutional Liberalized Abortion Law



Abortion Law Liberalized in Catholic Monaco
Thu, 06/11/2009 - 11:33 — Wendy
By Anna Wilkowska-Landowska, RH Reality Check, Eastern Europe

Last month, after five years of advocacy, Monaco approved a new law, which legalizes medically necessary abortions. Monaco was one of the last three states in Europe where abortion was illegal. The other two countries are Ireland and Malta.
The law was passed unanimously by the National Council, Monaco's parliament, in a 26-0 vote. This is significant because 90 percent of Monaco's population is formally Catholic. As generally known, the Roman Catholic Church believes that life begins at conception and opposes abortion under all circumstances. However, the modern Catholic position states a medical procedure needed to save the life of the mother, but that may result in the death of the "pre-born child" as a secondary effect, is morally acceptable.

Until now, Monaco has had one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. Under Monaco's Criminal Code, there were no stated exceptions to a general prohibition of abortion. Nonetheless, under general criminal law principles of necessity, an abortion could be performed to save the life of a pregnant woman. Any person performing an illegal abortion was subject to one to five years imprisonment and a fine. A woman who induced her own abortion or consented to its being induced was subject to six months to three years imprisonment and a fine. Physicians, surgeons, midwives and pharmacists who performed abortions were liable to harsher penalties including suspension from their profession.

The process of adopting a new bill calling for increased abortion access took years of struggling against religious beliefs. Like many other Catholic Church representatives, Archbishop Pernard Barsi of Monaco said there are a few fundamental principles that come not from religious morality, but from the natural law itself, that applies to all modern civilized societies: Life begins at conception. "What we term ‘interruption of pregnancy,' no matter what the motive is, remains an abortion. One of the most fundamental human rights is the integrity of the person at all stages of life. Civil law must never abridge the moral law," he said.

The Catholic Church in Monaco continuously claimed that permitting deliberate abortion for medical reasons or rape would inevitably lead to abortion on demand, and sooner or later, to the total liberalization of abortion. Barsi was pointing to the progression of laws permitting abortion in countries with no restrictions on the procedure. Instead of focusing on termination of pregnancies, he suggested looking closer at the problems faced by women and families dealing with difficult pregnancies, and called for increased support in society for them. "It's not by legalizing the 'interruption of pregnancies for medical motives or rape' that we will help women, couples and families. We must in fact accompany women by putting in place concrete measures within our institutions to foster solidarity," he said.

The new law permits abortion for "hard cases" including rape, fetal deformity, fetal illness or danger to the life of the mother. Catholic authorities argue that new regulations on termination of pregnancy are "incompatible" with the constitution of Monaco, which recognizes the Catholic faith as the state religion. They fear, for example, that there will be further attempts to conform Monaco to what they consider lowest ethical standards.

Adoption of the new bill on abortion in Monaco should be regarded as an important step on the way to providing sufficient guarantees for women within the area of reproductive rights. The fact that currently there are only two states in Europe where abortion is illegal and therefore totally prohibited, is a genuine proof that societies can change mentality, despite religious constraints that very often constitute serious obstacles when discussing controversial matters, especially abortion. Monaco serves as a perfect example.

UN Human Rights Council Review of Monaco May 2009

Human Rights Council Fifth Universal Periodic Review
4 - 15 May 2009
at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland

Live Webcast:

Includes Periodic Review of Human Rights
in Monaco

Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review
4 May 2009 (afternoon)
For use of information media; not an official record

The Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group reviewed the fulfillment of human rights obligations by Monaco this afternoon, during which 28 Council members and observers raised a number of issues pertaining to the human rights situation in the country.

· Presenting the national report of Monaco was FRANCK BIANCHERI, Minister Plenipotentiary, and Counsellor of the Government for Foreign Affairs and for International Economic and Financial Affairs, noted that the Principality of Monaco had become party to a large number of international instruments which covered a wide variety of human rights since becoming a member of the United Nations in 1993. However, the interpretation and involvement of international standards had to be assessed and appreciated given the specificities of the State.

Monaco was a Constitutional Monarchy governed by the Constitution of 17 December 1962. The rule of law was recognized in all national institutions and the separation of powers was also recognized per law. The Judiciary reported directly to the Head of State – the Prince. There were a number of bilateral agreements between the Principality of Monaco and France which did not compromise the integrity or sovereignty of Monaco. There were some 35,000 people living in Monaco and more than 120 nationalities represented. It was noted that there were no reported acts of xenophobia in Monaco. Ironically Monegasques were a minority in Monaco as they only number 7,634 in the country, out of a total population of over 35,000.

As regards gender equality, the law on Family provided equal rights to men and women. Moreover, freedom of expression was guaranteed as were freedom of religion and belief and association, the head of delegation added. The death penalty was not practiced in Monaco and a person in police custody could not be held for more than 24 hours. The right to access to lawyer was guaranteed as was the independence of the judiciary. Furthermore, the Constitution guaranteed the right to work for all in the Principality of Monaco; on a daily basis an average of 45,000 people crossed into Monaco from France and Italy to work. Monegasque citizens had free access to primary and secondary education and there was no discrimination, per law, in terms of access to education. Among other legislative measures enacted was a law on disabilities, allowing equal opportunities for disabled persons in the Principality.

The Principality of Monaco had extended a standing invitation to the Special Procedures of the United Nations, Mr. Biancheri noted. The Monegasque legal system had been supplemented by a number of legal provisions, among them a law on combating money laundering. Other legislative steps had been taken as regards the fight against terrorism which also covered the criminal sanctions for financing acts of terrorism and compensation for victims of terrorism. The Principality of Monaco was committed to combating corruption.

It was recalled that the State recently drafted a report, in December 2008, focusing on efforts to combat money laundering. The Government had also been involved in international cooperation to assist populations who were suffering from poverty and malnutrition and had been responsible for initiating more than 60 projects in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Between now and 2015, the Government was committed to increasing its Overseas Development Aid to 0.7%.

· During the three-hour interactive discussion delegations noted a number of positive achievements of the State under review. These included the accession of the Principality of Monaco to most international human rights instruments; policies to promote gender equality; financial support and programmes aimed at assisting children in armed conflict; the active engagement of Monaco in international discussions on combating violence against children, combating poverty, assisting persons with disabilities and promoting an environment of freedom of expression and association, religion and belief; the establishment of the principle of the independence of the judiciary; the adoption of a law on combating racist acts in 2005; measures taken to combat domestic violence; the recent revisions to the Criminal Code, which guaranteed the rights of persons in police custody, particularly the right of such people to consult a lawyer of their choice; efforts to educate public officials and school children about the principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms; and the recent amendments to civil law which enabled the establishment of associations within the Principality.

· Issues and questions raised by the Working Group, comprised of the 47 members of the Council, and Observers participating in the interactive discussion related to, among other things, the status of establishing a national human rights institution in compliance with the Paris Principles; practical measures being taken to update labour legislation in Monaco; the status of ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; whether Monaco would review domestic laws as regards legal requirements for men and women wishing to acquire Monegasque nationality; the actions being undertaken or envisaged in favour of the most vulnerable and specifically older persons; and how the Government evaluated the initial implementation of legal measures against inciting hatred or violence.
Other issues pertained to specific measures to safeguard the right of the children when they were arrested and held in custody in Monaco’s Maison d’Arret; steps taken to ensure that freedom of expression was protected even with respect to the royal family; plans to adopt a legislation making domestic violence a criminal offence; plans to establish judicial procedures to protect women who were victims of domestic violence; the policy guidelines and institutional mechanisms in place to protect the interests of migrant workers in Monaco; and the latest situation with the legal reforms targeting the repeal of banishment of foreigners.

· A number of delegations also posed specific recommendations. These included: To set up a national human rights institution in compliance with the Paris Principles; to join the International Labour Organization as a member and accede to its relevant conventions; to ratify the Convention on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances; to ensure that the definition of terrorist acts in Monaco was in line with its human rights obligations; to consider ratifying the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court; to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture; and to provide human rights training for State officials, judiciary and law enforcement officials.

Other recommendations included: To ensure that the provision for acquiring nationality be the same for women and men; to accede to the Optional Protocol to Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; that the system of priorities in the employment sector did not imply discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, religion, language and ethnic and national origin; to consider steps to encourage the participation of women on the Government Council; to ensure that the social security regime should apply to all categories of workers in the State; to share experiences with other countries to prevent assaults and acts of violence based on racial discrimination; and to share best practices on its policies and programmes with respect to women, children, older persons, and persons with disabilities, as well as its educational programmes.

The Principality of Monaco was also encouraged to strengthen policies and programmatic responses to address domestic violence against women; to broaden criminal legislation regarding racist acts by considering racist motivations of criminal offences as an aggravating circumstance at the time of sentencing; to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; to ratify the Convention of the Rights of Migrant Workers and All Members of Their Families; to introduce human rights education, into the national school curricula at all levels, particularly that which focused on combating racism and racial discrimination; to amend privacy legislation to bring it in line with recommendations on video surveillance by the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe; to widen the opportunities for foreign inhabitants to participate actively in political life; and to uphold freedom of expression, including with respect to public denunciations of the royal family.

· Members States taking the floor during the interactive discussion were Brazil, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Mexico, India, Burkina Faso, Slovenia, Azerbaijan, China, Canada, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Germany, Argentina, Ukraine and the Philippines.

· Observer States participating in the discussion were Algeria, Sweden, the United States of America, the Republic of Congo, Turkey, Luxembourg, the Holy See, the Czech Republic, San Marino, Morocco and Singapore.

· The 13-person delegation of Monaco consisted of representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the Director for Judicial Services, the Department of Social Affairs and Health, the Department of the Interior and the Permanent Mission of Monaco to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

· The three Council members serving as rapporteurs – troika - for the review of Monaco are Switzerland, China and Uruguay.

· In accordance with its institution-building package, the three documents on which State reviews should be based are information prepared by the State concerned, which could be presented either orally or in writing; information contained in the reports of treaty bodies and Special Procedures, to be compiled in a report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); and information provided by other relevant stakeholders to the UPR including non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions, human rights defenders, academic institutions and research institutes, regional organizations, as well as civil society representatives, also to be summarized by OHCHR in a separate document.

The reports on Monaco can be found here.
· The UPR Working Group is scheduled to adopt the report of Monaco on Wednesday, 6 May.
· When the UPR Working Group continues its work tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. it will review the fulfillment of human rights obligations by Belize.
Additional information on the Universal Periodic Review mechanism can be located at the UPR webpage -
To access the webcast for the UPR session please visit

US State Dept. 2008 Human Rights Report on Monaco

Title: 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Monaco
United States Department of State

Publication Date: 25 February 2009
[Cite as United States Department of State, 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Monaco, 25 February 2009, available at: [accessed 19 August 2009]

2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Monaco
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor February 25, 2009

The Principality of Monaco, with a population of some 35,000, is a constitutional monarchy in which the sovereign prince plays a leading role in governing the country. The prince appoints the four-member government, headed by a minister of state chosen from a list of candidates proposed by France. The other members are the counselor for the interior, the counselor for public works and social affairs, and the counselor for finance and the economy. Legislative power is shared between the prince and the popularly elected 24-member National Council. The most recent National Council election was conducted on February 3 and was considered free and fair. Civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces.
The government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and the judiciary provided effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse. However, citizens did not have the right to change their government.

1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From:
a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life
There were no reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings.

b. Disappearance
There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The constitution and law prohibit such practices, and there were no reports that officials employed them.
Prison and Detention Center Conditions
Prison conditions generally met international standards. The government permitted visits by human rights monitors.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention
The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary arrest and detention, and the government generally observed these prohibitions.

Role of the Police and Security Apparatus
Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the national police force and the Carabiniers du Prince. The government has effective mechanisms to investigate and punish abuse and corruption. There were no reports of impunity involving the security forces during the year.

Arrest and Detention
Arrest warrants are required, except when a suspect is arrested while committing an offense. The police must bring detainees before a judge within 24 hours to be informed of the charges against them and of their rights under the law. Most detainees are released without bail, but the investigating magistrate may order detention on grounds that the suspect might flee or interfere with the investigation of the case. The magistrate may extend the initial two-month detention for additional two-month periods indefinitely. The magistrate may permit family members to see detainees, and it is customary for magistrates to do so.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
The constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary, and the government generally respected judicial independence in practice. Under the law, the prince delegates his judicial powers to the judiciary.

Trial Procedures
The law provides the right to a fair public trial, and an independent judiciary generally enforced this right. As under French law, in criminal casesa three-judge tribunal considers the evidence collected by the investigating magistrate and hears the arguments made by the prosecuting and defense attorneys. The defendant enjoys a presumption of innocence and the right of appeal. The defendant has the right to be present and the right to counsel, at public expense if necessary. Defendants have the right to question witnesses against them and to present their own witnesses. Defendants and their attorneys have access to government-held evidence relevant to their cases. After prisoners receive a definitive sentence, they are transferred to a French prison to serve out their terms.

Political Prisoners and Detainees
There were no reports of political prisoners or detainees.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

The principality has an independent and impartial judiciary for civil matters, and there is access to a court to bring lawsuits seeking damages for, or cessation of, a human rights violation. Administrative remedies are available for alleged wrongs, and are regularly used by plaintiffs.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence
The constitution and law prohibit such actions, and the government generally respected these prohibitions in practice.

2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

a. Freedom of Speech and Press
The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and of the press, and the government generally respected these rights. The penal code, however, prohibits public denunciations of the ruling family, a provision that the media respected in practice. The independent media were active and expressed a wide variety of views without restriction.

Internet Freedom
There were no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitored e-mail or Internet chat rooms. Individuals and groups could engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by electronic mail. Internet use is widespread, supported by an advanced and robust telecommunications infrastructure.

Academic Freedom and Cultural Events
There were no government restrictions on academic freedom or cultural events.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
The constitution and law provide for freedom of assembly and association, and the government generally respected these rights in practice. Outdoor meetings require police authorization, but there were no reports that police withheld authorization for political or arbitrary reasons. Formal associations must be registered and authorized by the government, and there were no reports that the government withheld registration for political or arbitrary reasons.

c. Freedom of Religion
The law provides for freedom of religion, and the government generally respected this right in practice. Roman Catholicism is the state religion. The government denies permission to operate to religious organizations found on the French Interministerial Mission for Monitoring and Combating Cultic Deviances (MIVILUDES) "cult" list, but there were no reports of any registration applications being received or denied during the year.

There is no law against proselytizing by religious organizations that are formally registered by the Ministry of State; however, proselytizing was strongly discouraged and no missionaries operated in the principality.

Societal Abuses and Discrimination
There were no reports of societal violence, harassment, or discrimination against members of any religious group. The Jewish community is extremely small, and there were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.
For a more detailed discussion see the 2008 International Religious Freedom Report.

d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons
The law provides for freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights in practice. The government was committed to cooperate with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian organizations in providing protection and assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and other persons of concern. All refugees would be screened by France according to standard Schengen procedures before entering the principality.
Residents moved freely across the country's open borders with France. Nationals can lose their citizenship for specified acts, including if another nationality has been voluntarily acquired or if military service was accomplished within a foreign army. Only the prince can grant or restore nationality, but he is obliged by the constitution to consult the Crown Council on each case before doing so. The Crown Council, consisting of seven citizens appointed to serve for a three-year period, meets at least twice a year to deal with the highest state issues.
The law prohibits forced exile, and the government did not employ it.

Protection of Refugees
The law provides for the granting of refugee and asylum status in accordance with the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 protocol. The principality depends on bilateral arrangements with France to provide refugee protection. There were no reported cases of the government granting refugee status or political asylum during the year.

3. Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government
The sole authority to change the government and to initiate laws rests with the prince. The 1962 Constitution can be revised by common agreement between the prince and the elected National Council.

Elections and Political Participation
As head of state, the prince plays an active role in government. He names the minister of state (in effect, the prime minister) from a list of names proposed by the French government. He also names the three counselors of government (of whom the one responsible for the interior is usually a French national). Together the four constitute the government. The law prohibits public denunciations of the ruling family.
Only the prince may formally initiate legislation, but the 24-member National Council may propose legislation to the government. All legislation and the adoption of the budget require the council's assent. Elections for National Council members are held every five years and are based on universal adult suffrage and secret balloting. National Council elections held on February 3 were considered free and fair. Several political parties exist, operate freely, and are active on both the national and municipal level.
There were six women in the 24-member National Council, and two women in the seven-member Crown Council.
There were no members of minorities in the government.

Government Corruption and Transparency
The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption and the government generally implemented these laws effectively. There were isolated reports of government corruption during the year, but no formal proceedings against government officials for corruption. Public officials are not subject to financial disclosure laws.
The law provides for public access to government information and the government provided access in practice for citizens and noncitizens, including foreign media.

4. Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights
While the government imposed no restrictions on the establishment or operation of local groups devoted to monitoring human rights, no such groups were formed, nor did foreign groups seek to investigate human rights conditions in the country.

5. Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons
The constitution provides that all nationals are equal before the law. It differentiates between rights accorded to nationals, including preference in employment, free education, and assistance to the ill or unemployed, and those accorded to all residents, including inviolability of the home. The law prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status, and the government generally enforced it.

Rape, including spousal rape, is a criminal offense. There were no prosecutions during the year.
Reported instances of violence against women were rare. Spousal abuse is prohibited by law, and victims may bring criminal charges against their spouses.
Prostitution is illegal, and overt prostitution was uncommon, although it existed to an extent in a well-hidden form. No data was available as to whether there were any arrests during the year.
Sexual harassment is illegal, and the government effectively enforced the law. There were no reports of sexual harassment during the year.
Although the country has legislated the equality of men and women in the civil code, there is no institution with a mandate to monitor gender inequalities. The law governing transmission of citizenship provides for equality of treatment between men and women who are nationals by birth.
Women were represented fairly well in the professions, but less well in business. While no data were available, observers believed that there was a small – and gradually diminishing – gender pay discrepancy.

The government was committed fully to the protection of children's rights and welfare and had well-funded public education and health care programs.

Trafficking in Persons

The law does not prohibit trafficking in persons; however, there were no reports that persons were trafficked to, from, or within the country.

Persons with Disabilities
There was no reported governmental or societal discrimination against persons with disabilities. The law requires that public buildings provide access for persons with disabilities, and this goal has been largely accomplished.

Other Societal Abuses and Discrimination
There were no reports of violence or discrimination based on sexual orientation or against persons with HIV/AIDS.

6. Worker Rights
a. The Right of Association
By law, workers are free to form and join independent unions of their choice, but fewer than five percent of workers were unionized. Relatively few workers, unionized or nonunionized, resided in the principality. Unions were independent of both the government and political parties.
The constitution and law provide for the right to strike; two strikes at major companies were reported during the year. Government workers, however, may not strike.
b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively
The law provides for the free exercise of union activity, and workers exercised this right in practice. Agreements on working conditions were negotiated between organizations representing employers in a given sector of the economy and the respective union. Collective bargaining is protected by law; however, it is used rarely. Antiunion discrimination is prohibited. Union representatives can be fired only with the agreement of a commission that includes two members from the employers' association and two from the labor movement. Allegations that an employee was fired for union activity may be brought before the labor court, which can order redress, such as the payment of damages with interest.
There are no export processing zones.

c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor
The constitution and law prohibit forced or compulsory labor, including by children, and there were no reports that such practices occurred.

d. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment
The minimum age for employment is 16 years; those employing children under that age can be punished under criminal law. Special restrictions apply to the hiring, work times, and other conditions of workers 16 to 18 years old. The counselor of government for the interior is responsible for enforcing the child labor laws and regulations, and they were effectively enforced.

e. Acceptable Conditions of Work
The legal minimum wage for full-time work is the French minimum wage, 8.71 euros per hour (approximately $11.80), plus a 5 percent adjustment to compensate for the travel costs of the three-quarters of the workforce that commuted daily from France. The minimum wage provided a decent standard of living for a worker and family. Most workers received more than the minimum.
The legal work week was 39 hours. The government allows companies to reduce the work week to 35 hours if they so choose. Health and safety standards are fixed by law and government decree. These standards were enforced by health and safety committees in the workplace and by the government labor inspector.
Workers have the right to remove themselves from dangerous work situations without jeopardy to their employment, and the authorities effectively enforced this right.

Prince Albert II at September 2007 Inauguration of Monaco Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Address of Prince Albert II at September 2007 Inauguration of Embassy of Monaco in Washington, D.C.

Address by H.S.H. Prince Albert II at The Inauguration of the Residencein Washington on September 26, 2007

Mr. Ambassador, Madame, Your Excellencies, Madame Consul General, , distinguished Consuls of Monaco in the United States, Ladies and Gentlemen,
dear friends and dear family members, thank you all for being here. It’s wonderful to see, by your presence, the links between Monaco and the United States.

I’m particularly thrilled to be inaugurating Monaco’s Ambassador’s Residence here in Washington today with you. I’m delighted that Monegasque Diplomacy and Diplomatic Representation are now at an Ambassadorial Level. And I think this is only to highlight my personal commitment and that of the Principality to provide the necessary resources for deeper cooperation between Monaco and the United States.
I’m also moved today because my thoughts are obviously with my parents.
Especially with my Mother, since she was both of our countries’ most outstanding Ambassador and bound both of our countries in a very unique way.

As you know, I’m very fond of this country and harbor many happy memories of my early childhood and years after that. Summers with family members, summers at camp. There are a couple of people whom I went to camp with who are in this Embassy today. And of course, studying in Amherst College, then trying to learn some sort of insight and to make some sort of sense of what it means to be in Corporate America. And every time I spend time in this country, it brings back a whole lot of these fond memories. I think America instilled in me an appreciation for entrepreneurship and a deep respect for work as the only way to win. Also, it revealed to me the value of competition, not in order to dominate the other person but to surpass one’s self and find fulfillment. Returning to this land as I do fairly often, I embrace the immensity of its wide open spaces and the richness of a society founded on so many different ethnic origins. The inauguration of this Embassy marks a fresh impetus that I wish to bring to the relations - a long lasting and friendly relation between the Principality of Monaco and the United States of America.

These relations, as you know, were consolidated on December 8 of last year when His Excellency, Ambassador Gilles Noghès, presented his Letters of credence to President Bush. And, five days later, His Excellency Craig Stapleton, the United States Non-Resident Ambassador, handed his Letters of Accreditation to me in the Principality. I had the pleasure of welcoming Ambassador Stapleton back to the Palace just a few days ago and used that opportunity to take another look at issues of common interests to both our Countries. Our mutual Ambassadors constitute a very visible expression of the close links that bind us.

I would also like to take this opportunity to salute the valuable work carried out by Mrs. Maguy Maccario-Doyle, who is our Consul General in New York City, and the equally indispensable efforts of the Principality’s six Honorary Consuls. Most of them are here today. It’s a real pleasure for me to see them again and to be able to keep up with their great work and I salute them and urge them to keep on going on that track.

Monaco shares the ideals and concerns of the United States, this I think you are all well aware of. Joining with the international community and the American government we will do everything possible to bring our efforts to the fight against terrorism in all its forms. A joint agreement pertaining to the proceeds of crime and the confiscation of goods signed by the Government of Monaco and the US government on the twenty fourth of March of this year bears witness to this.
Our American friends know that they will always receive a particularly warm welcome in the Principality and the image I would like you all and like our American friends to take away from Monaco is that of a Country that may be small in size but is driven by an unsuspected capacity to rise to challenge. It is inspired by the same values of freedom.

And we also remain open as our American friends do, to the great issues of our time. At the forefront of these issues, I think you know my commitment to the environment. And, as you know, not only has Monaco over the past ten years done tremendous efforts in terms of cooperation with other countries on environmental projects, but I felt it was time for me to do more. And so that’s why I set up in June of last year my own Foundation solely devoted to the environment.

We have three main areas that we have concentrated on, that is: the protection of biodiversity, the studies on climate change and on new energies, and also on the excruciatingly serious concerns about water and about water management. And so, with this new Foundation, we are working currently on 30 different projects that have been approved by our Scientific Board and by the Board of Trustees. We have decided to expand and to have satellite committees in different countries.

I am delighted to say that there will be a Prince of Albert II Monaco Foundation arm in the United States. I am very grateful and pleased that my cousin, John Kelly, has accepted to chair this group. And so, this arm of the Foundation will be happy to work with different entities in this country.

Thanks to Monaco’s Embassy in Washington, our two countries will now become still greater friends, building on the close links that we have already nurtured together. I think Isaac Newton said many years ago that, “man builds more walls than he does bridges.” I believe that both of our countries have been fortunate to build many bridges of friendship over the years. Let’s hope by working together that we will not only keep these bridges strong, that we’ll keep them open for ever.
Thank you very much.