Raymond Aron Lecture Dinner

October 31, 2013 | By French Culture

On October 28, 2013, the Maison Française, hosted a lecture and dinner with Raymond Aron. On this occasion, François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United States addressed the audience with the following speech.


Monsieur le Directeur Général - it’s a great honor to have Pascal Lamy with us and for us this evening,
Senator Graham – who is a true friend of France,
Representatives of the administration (Caroline Atkinson, Karen Donfried, Madelyn Creedon),
Ambassadors,
Dear Jim-Yon Cai (CEO of IFC),
Cher Olivier Blanchard,
Dears friends,

It’s a great pleasure for my team and for me to welcome you tonight to the French embassy, as we are celebrating the tenth edition of the annual Raymond Aron Lecture. The Lecture was delivered earlier by Pascal Lamy, with a response by Robert Zoellick.

As many of you know, the Raymond Aron Lecture series was launched in 2004 when the Center on the United States and France became the Center on the US and Europe at the Brookings Institution, thanks to the efforts of Phil Gordon, now National Security Council coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf.

The Lecture is a partnership between Brookings, the Policy Planning Staff at the French Foreign Ministry and the French embassy here in Washington.

Our friend Strobe Talbott could not join us this evening, as he just came back from China, but I want to thank the representatives of Brookings who are here with us (Ted Piccone, Thomas Wright).

Chers amis,

Our event tonight comes at an opportune time a French-American relations have rarely been closer than they are today.

This is true on the diplomatic and security front, as illustrated by the recent French military operation in Mali, with much appreciated American support, to combat Al-Qaida in North Africa. And I believe it’s fair to say that our two countries are each other’s closest allies in the fight against terrorism.

In the same vein, the US and France are in the forefront of international efforts on Syria and Iran.

Our economic partnership is also growing stronger every year. It’s true in terms of cross-investment in particular: the U.S is the number one foreign investor in France and American investment to France is on the rise again – and France is in the top five foreign investor in this country (…) Innovation is our two countries’ number 1, number 2 and number 3 priority.

From a broader perspective, we French are convinced that the more the emerging world is rising, the more the transatlantic partnership is relevant and the more we need to invent a new system of global governance.

I believe this is one of Pascal Lamy’s core convictions and I would like to warmly thank him for being our key-note speaker tonight.

Pascal Lamy needs no introduction.  He has unmatched expertise on these issues from the key positions he’s been assuming as Chief of staff of Jacques Delors, when he was the President of the European Commission, then as Commissioner for Trade at the Commission and finally as the Director General of WTO from 2005 to 2013.

Among many other responsibilities, he is also honorary president of “Notre Europe”, a leading think tank on European integration.

Let me conclude by saying that for my generation, and certainly for me, Pascal Lamy exemplifies the commitment to public service as well our political and moral responsibility to embrace globalization while limiting the downside of it and putting a human face on it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in welcoming M. Pascal Lamy.

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