Update of Progress 1. Developing th e national action plan against FGM What progress have you been able to make in the development of the national action plan? As you are aware, in France there is already a national action plan since 2006. That is the reason why our role is more to put pressure on the key res ponsible players for its implementation. In that sense, the November 26, 2008 event will be for us a major instrument in achieving this. 2. Work with the National Steering Committee At the beginning of the project, we thought to set up a national s teering committee to organize the event on November 25 but this s trategy has been was finally changed. It seems too heavy to officially create a national s teering committee to organize the event since the persons identified to be part of it are already involved in several networks and since we do not have enough human ressources to properly coordinate a new task-force. Ins tead, we have decided to work unformaly with few key people before the workshop and to create a committee ad-hoc on November 26 to follow-up on the workshop which can gather once or twice a year. How have you been able to join with other actors on FGM to develop the Plan? The national action plan was implemented in 2006 after few consultations rounds which gather representatives of several minis tries concerned (Minis try of Health, Minis try of Education, Minis try of Social Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Minis try of Jus tice, Minis try of Foreign Affairs) , experts and activis ts. Equilibres & Populations was involved in that process. How have you been able to bring about political will for the Plan? In particular, which government department, agency or institution have you been wor king with that has taken some responsibility for the Plan and will be working for its implementation after June 2009? If you have more than one government body, kindly provide information thus: You may know that the National Action Plan was adopted in 2006 by t M Xavier Bertrand Minis ter of Health at that time,. In 2007 in France, there were general elections and Ms Roselyne Bachelot was appointed as the new Minis ter of Health. Our firs t action was then to meet with her in order to inform her that her predecessor has engaged the Health Minis try on an action plan to fight against excision. Then, in June 2008, we met with Nicole Matet and Patrick Ambroise, two ministrerâ€™s advisors who are in charge of this issue to talk about the progress made in the implementation. The minis try of Health is therefore our main ins titutional contact. This is probably this minis try who will be also the lead actor after June 2009.
3. The National Public Event on or around November 25, 2008 Because there is already a national action plan since 2006 in France, the purpose of this one day public event could not really be to publicize the action plan but : -to make a s tate of the art of its implementation, -to put the pressure on the different minis tries which are res ponsible fort its implementation - to draft recomandations in order to improve it. On what date are you planning to hold your public event and what kind of activity is being planned?The one day public event will take place at the National Academy of Medicine on November 26. We plan to gather around one hundred people. The Health Minis ter, herself, will make the closing speech. Who will be collaborating with you to hold this event, and who else will be involved in this event? -Health Minis try -Researchers -Civil Society (GA MS/CAMS) - Key members of the Academies (Prof. Sureau, Prof. Gentilini) We really hope to involve each minis try which is supposed to take part in the national action plan implementation (Minis try of Jus tice, Minis try of Education, Minis try of Home Affairs). What kind of media coverage have you planned for this event? Around 20 journalists will be personally invited and a press release will be issued. 4. Implementation of th e National Action Plan against FGM after Jun e 2009 What plans have you and the National Steering Committee for the implementation of the Action Plan? We are already in the implementation phase. We will probably try to organize a one year meeting to follow up on the implementation but it will definitively depends on the resources we will able to mobilize.