We, Heads of State, Heads of Government and Authorities of the European Communities, have come to meet you here, not in order to engage in a dialogue but to let it be known by this statement I am making to you -- and to those who in my country and the other countries are listening to us -- that this Summit has taken place in an atmosphere of work, cooperation, understanding and, I think I can say, of the relations of friendship essential for anyone bearing such broad responsibilities as we do.
We examined successively the problems which you know to be on the agenda --we kept to the agenda -- during the plenary meetings. We examined what is called the state of the world, certain sensitive areas where war and peace are at stake, we studied the relations between East and West, we studied the relations between North and South, and we discussed problems specific to ourselves, economic, financial and commercial problems affecting in particular the areas of currency and trade.
During the discussions many points were cleared up. For example, in regard to East-West relations the manner in which we conceive the development of trade relations; for example, in North-South relations, when we envisage the early launching of global negotiations, we specify, as we have always done, that the rights and obligations of the specialized institutions must be preserved. However, all that you will find in a reading of the text itself.
On each of the points examined at the plenary meetings agreement was arrived at in such a way that the texts in the different languages were made with complete precision so that there can be no divergent interpretation of them.
I said that our main economic concern was to succeed in coordinating our action in the combat against inflation, in the combat against unemployment and for promoting growth. To that end we are imposing on ourselves a number of rules or lines of conduct. We are against anyone's behaving in a manner that is detrimental to others, to succeed together we must cooperate with one another.
We did not presume to take decisions for others, that is for those who were not participating in the Summit; nothing could have been further from our minds, but we were aware of the importance of our options and saw to it that these options were in line with the fostering of progress for all and wholly consonant with respect for the principles of peace as the ultimate objective.
We have no aggressive intentions against anyone. We want to safeguard certain common values of civilization, as we call them, and especially, as regards political systems, to preserve the democratic traditions, practices and institutions that are characteristics of the countries participating in this meeting.
Outside the plenary sessions, we discussed many things and exchanged our points of view during meals which, to be sure, were friendly occasions, but at the same time working dinners; and we spent all our evenings discussing all those problems that required our attention. No problem was taboo. The thing that is distinctive about a meeting of this kind is that it provides the Heads of State and Government and Representatives of the [European] Communities with a special opportunity for engaging in direct dialogue and an exchange of views outside of the ceremonial constraints of the agendas of international assemblies or business meetings.
It was in this spirit that from the first evening we tackled the alarming event, that of the act of war in the Falklands due unfortunately to the violent action initiated by Argentina which resulted in a chain of consequences that grew naturally out of that situation. And we reiterated our condemnation of the violent actions or incitements to violence that were preferred by some to discussion within the framework of international procedures, whence our support of resolution 502 of the Security Council and our desire to see as soon as possible the conclusion of a cease-fire, that is, armistice terms applicable to the conflict or, rather, to the two countries directly involved.
But we wished to make a point of affirming our full solidarity with Great Britain whose national interests and national pride have been violated, such solidarity being natural. Great Britain's rights must be preserved, it being understood that we shall do all we can to ensure that, while these rights are recognized, peace proves stronger than war.
We have discussed the situation which developed in Lebanon during the Conference. A text has been distributed. This text was drawn up and adopted almost immediately we heard of the beginning of the affair. It does not therefore cover the events taking place now -- except that since the Israeli forces have intervened on Lebanese soil and that this country, Lebanon, like every other country, has the right to independence, freedom, unity and sovereignty over its national territory, sovereignty which is often flouted, and by many, but in the circumstances in such a way that we have made known our strong disapproval of what is taking place.
As for the text itself, I have it here, you have not all got it, and since we shall not be discussing it, it is not a press communiqué but a statement, it is in other press conferences that we could go into this subject in details [sic], reply to your questions and discuss it with you.
We have adopted the procedure we are now following, a little different from that of Ottawa, to avoid having eight consecutive somewhat artificial statements as used to be the case and which added little to our proceedings.
Since it was not a contest of eloquence either, what purpose did it serve?
We have therefore decided to entrust the task of making the final statement to the press to the President of the Conference. And that is what I am now doing on behalf of the Summit in my capacity as President, on completing my term of office, of the Versailles Summit. Mine will therefore be the only statement.
I took up this office after the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Pierre Elliot Trudeau, and I shall be ceding it to the President of the United States of America, since the 1983 Summit is to be held in his country.
Before concluding, I should like to say, in my capacity as President, but this time speaking more as a Frenchman and the President of the French Republic, that I greatly appreciated the opportunity of consulting the Heads of State and Government of our principal allied and friendly countries, of having similar links with the European Communities and of extending our hospitality, which we have done our best to make enjoyable, to them. We have the impression that we have moved forward.
This Conference is also an appeal for progress, for development, for our societies to be able to control the difficult situation we are in -- not that we are in, but that the whole world is in!
We are aware of our responsibility, we are capable of shouldering it -- that is my dominant impression when I am on the point of completing my term of office. But I must repeat that, as a Frenchman, it has been and still is an honor for us to have welcomed and to welcome the representatives of friendly peoples, as it is at the moment to welcome the international press which, I hope, found itself in a position to carry out its work in satisfactory conditions and which has certainly greatly honored us by transmitting very rapidly and, I also hope, correctly all our discussions.
I have nothing else to add. The image behind this tribune [sic] will therefore be ephemeral. There is very little chance that it will appear again for some time, if not in another place, that is to say the United States of America, where we shall go with pleasure and interest next year.
Thank you very much.
Source: France, Ministère des relations extérieures, Service d'information et de presse, France Information 117 (1982): 30-31.
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