France preparing to mark First World War centenary

Excerpts from the communiqué issued following the Council of Ministers’ meeting

Paris, 18 April 2012

(…)

Centenary of the First World War

The Minister of State attached to the Minister for Defence and Veterans made a statement about the centenary of the First World War.

The centenary will be commemorated worldwide for more than four years. France, along with all the countries who fought in the Great War, is taking steps to prepare for this landmark event.

Over four years, the government will assume its role of responsibility for the nation’s policy of remembrance and, with the support of civil society and the local authorities, will play its full role in spearheading the commemorative programme for the First World War centenary. Under this programme, the government will focus its activity on the beginning (2014) and the end (2018) of the commemoration, and in the intervening period a series of decentralized commemorations will be proposed to the local authorities and foreign partners to mark the great phases of the First World War on French territory.

In 2014, the government will conduct a commemorative programme organized around six great national and international events. This programme will emphasize passing on the memory of the Great War [to young people], cultural and scientific development, and remembrance tourism.

A Public Interest Grouping, the First World War Centenary Mission 1914-2014, is being created to oversee the conception and implementation of the centenary commemoration programme. It is chaired by General Elrick Irastorza, former Chief of Staff of the French Army./.

Published on 19/04/2012

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