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Hollande at Davos calls for big business to fight terror

French President François Hollande's speech was greeted with enthusiastic applause
French President François Hollande's speech was greeted with enthusiastic applause Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

French President François Hollande on Friday used the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to call for states and big business to work together in the fight against terrorism, just two weeks after a series of bloody attacks in Paris.

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“The response needs to be global, international, shared between those states that are on the front line [against terror],” he told 2,000 assembled business leaders.

“But this effort must also include businesses, especially the biggest ones, who have a duty to act,” he added, appealing to the global financial system to cut all finance to terrorist groups.

Hollande, whose speech received loud applause, urged internet companies to make sure "illegal content" was taken off the web, saying governments could not fight terrorism on their own.

Corporate leaders must fight against the trafficking of people, drugs and goods, and combat tax havens to dry up financial sources for terrorism, he added, while urging EU countries to agree on a European database of air passengers.

Call for climate action

Hollande also used his speech to call for investments in green technology as a way to fight both global warming and poverty.

Hollande, who will host the next crucial round of climate talks, called for “huge investment in the green economy” as he and other world leaders kicked off a year of campaigning to clinch twin deals addressing climate change and poverty.

The interconnected themes took centre stage Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos with urgent calls for nations to support two long-sought deals.

One, slated for talks in September in New York, would establish sustainable development and poverty-cutting goals through 2030.

The other, to be negotiated in December in Paris, would set a legally binding climate pact whose focus is on more near-term emissions cuts from 2020.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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