ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Paris Climate Conference (COP21) – the biggest diplomatic event ever hosted in France – will not only still go ahead but will be a moment of hope and solidarity, according to the top French envoy in Pakistan.

Ambassador of France to Pakistan Mrs Martine Dorance was addressing the reception – On the Road to Paris Climate Conference – which was overshadowed by the tragedy in Paris last Friday. 129 people died, while more than 350 are injured.

“Our thoughts, our sympathy are with them, with their families. Among the victims were several dozen of our foreign friends, representing 19 nationalities,” said Dorance.

a2She said she had been deeply touched by the messages of sympathy and support received in Pakistan. “Pakistan has suffered a lot from terrorism, like so many other countries, and our thoughts are with all the victims of terrorism in France, in Pakistan, in Russia, in Lebanon, in Mali, in so many places.”

Dorance also expressed the hope that the conference will provide “a moment of solidarity, too, because, there will undoubtedly be more than 100 heads of state and government who will come to Paris”.

“In just 11 days, in Paris, world leaders will have a historic opportunity to negotiate a lasting, binding agreement, one which is differentiated so that we can all live and so that our children and grandchildren can continue to have the planet they will inherit,” the French ambassador said.

“As the president of the conference, our role has been to facilitate an ambitious compromise between 195 countries,” she added.

Acknowledging the expertise of Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change, Mr Zahid Hamid, who recently took oath, the French envoy said that Pakistan is one of the countries most affected by climate change. “We expect it to play a major role in the Paris conference. With my colleagues, at the French Embassy, we wanted to thank you all for the efforts you put in preparing this COP 21 from Pakistan.”

As a moment of hope, COP21 in Paris will tell how much the whole world stands in solidarity, and how much the whole world also needs to mobilise its efforts to combat climate change, as it needs to unite to combat terrorism.