French President Emmanuel Macron greets Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he arrives at the Palais de l’Elysee in Paris, France Sunday November 11, 2018. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

French President Emmanuel Macron greets Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he arrives at the Palais de l’Elysee in Paris, France Sunday November 11, 2018. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

REMEMBRANCE DAY

World leaders gather in Paris to mark 100 years since end of First World War

Emmanuel Macron told world leaders that nationalists threaten to erase the moral values a nation has by putting their own interests first

France’s president used a global commemoration of the end of the First World War to remind leaders today that the peace forged a century ago can be easily undone by rising nationalism wrapped in the mask of patriotism.

Emmanuel Macron told a gathering of more than 60 world leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, that those among them who call themselves nationalists threaten to erase the moral values a nation has by putting their own interests first regardless of the effects on others.

The message seemed directed at U.S. President Donald Trump, who in recent weeks described himself as a nationalist.

Trump and Macron said during a meeting Saturday that they had calmed stormy waters after the two sparred over a trans-Atlantic military alliance, better known as NATO, and the American president’s continual unease about spending by member countries.

But Macron appeared to stir the seas anew in his speech, given as a cold rain pelted the French capital.

Macron warned how fragile peace can be in an age where the tensions that gave rise to four years of bloody battle, costing millions of lives, appear to be festering again. He told the assembled masses that the “traces of this war never went away.”

He urged the leaders present to promise their peoples that the resurgent ”old demons” would not be able to return, sowing “chaos and death.”

“New ideologies manipulate religions, push a contagious obscurantism,” he said. ”Sometimes, history threatens to retake its tragic course and threaten our heritage of peace that we believed we had definitively settled with our ancestors’ blood.”

Macron, Trudeau and other leaders came to Paris hoping to use the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War to renew calls to quash festering tensions across the globe.

“There is a general sense and desire among many countries, including Canada to do whatever is possible to sustain the institutions of the international order and practical, multilateral co-operation. And so you see that in Canada, you see that in Germany,” said Roland Paris, Trudeau’s former foreign adviser.

“Macron (is) essentially making that point: that we can sustain co-operation, we must sustain co-operation.”

READ MORE: First World War letters put a human face on the war that shaped us as a nation

Trudeau, who is on a 10-day trip across Europe and Asia, will come face-to-face with three of the nations sowing some of that tension: Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trudeau spoke with Trump at a dinner Macron organized on Friday night — although government officials wouldn’t say the exact topic of conversation. Trudeau will also attend summits this week in Asia that Putin and Xi are scheduled to attend.

Trump did not shake Trudeau’s hand when he arrived with wife Melania at the iconic Arc de Triomphe. Neither Trump nor Putin walked a bit of the Champs-Elysee with other leaders after church bells rang out as the hour turned to 11 a.m. local time, marking the moment the guns fell silent across Europe a century ago.

Trudeau has had to navigate the mercurial American president, and on Sunday afternoon he will navigate that line again when he takes part in a panel discussion about freedom of the press — another group with whom Trump has frequently sparred.

The panel is part of a peace forum organized by Macron, described by France’s ambassador to Canada as intended to amplify the voices of non-governmental organizations and prod political leaders present to commit to Macron’s call for peace.

“If you’re not backed up by the highest political authority, nothing will happen,” Kareen Rispal said in an interview Friday.

“You have to get the real commitment from the political leaders.”

Rispal also said Trudeau’s appearance at the Arc de Triomphe ceremony would be a reminder of Canada’s contributions during the war, which aren’t always recognized in Europe.

Some 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in the First World War, and more than 66,000 of them lost their lives. About 172,000 more were injured.

Others served behind the front lines, working with locals to aid the war effort.

“We as French, we as Europeans — I think we don’t value enough the effort made by the Canadians,” Rispal said in an interview Friday.

— With files from the Associated Press.

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

File photo
Update: Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are searching for suspect involved in an armed robbery at the Leduc Giant Tiger.

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

Most Read