Terrorism is a global scourge that affects all States (12/19/2014)
Terrorism and cross-border crime - Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations – Security Council – 19 December 2014
I thank Mr. Jeffrey Feltman and Mr. Téte António for their briefings. I would also welcome Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chad, for his initiative in convening today’s open debate and for presiding over it. I thank him warmly and congratulate him more broadly for Chad’s excellent presidency of the Security Council this month.
I align myself with the statement to be made by the observer of the European Union.
Terrorism is a global scourge that affects all States. This phenomenon is even more worrying when it develops in fragile States or States that are under reconstruction. That is why it is particularly useful for the Council, upon Chad’s initiative, to have an opportunity to address the issue of terrorism and organized crime in Africa.
The terrorist threat is increasingly present on the African continent. In the Maghreb and the Sahel, the Secretary-General states in his report (S/2014/397), terrorist attacks increased by 60 per cent in 2013 as compared to 2012. Elsewhere in East Africa, in Kenya, the terrible attack at Westgate Shopping Centre in September 2013 is still fresh in our memories.
The growth of organized crime is in itself a threat to the stability of States. It is also a breeding ground for terrorist movements, which now tend to thrive on all types of trafficking — in charcoal by Al-Shabaab in Somalia, in human beings and drugs in West Africa, in arms in Libya — as well as theft and looting that enable these groups to fund themselves, or, as we were shocked to see again this week, kidnappings by the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria. These are among the many situations where the links between terrorism and organized crime combine to give birth to a real gangrene for African States and the world.
The international community must do everything possible to prevent some African countries falling into the hands of terrorists or become for them a sanctuary. France has taken on all its responsibilities by intervening in Mali to prevent the progression of terrorists who threatened Bamako. Today, my country has a new strategy for the Sahelo-Saharan zone designed to address all at once the issues of security, development and governance. This strategy covers cooperation with six countries — Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, the Niger and Chad — and it aims in particular to strengthen the capacity of States to give them the means to fight against terrorism and large-scale trafficking, but also against radicalization and to facilitate regional cooperation.
The French Sahelo-Saharan strategy represents more than €400 million of bilateral development assistance each year. In addition, the French military Operation Barkhane, launched in 2014 at the request of five countries of the Sahel, represents the contribution of France to the fight against terrorism and the improvement of security in the Sahel, with a view in particular to stemming the movement of terrorist groups in the area.
But it is crucial that African responses to the various crises be found. Efforts at the regional and subregional level should continue. We welcome, in that regard, the holding of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa, which ended on 16 December and which aimed to bring together stakeholders in the security sector. We also welcome the work carried out by Mr. Buyoya and his team.
The diversity of the initiatives on Sahel — the United Nations strategy or those of the African Union and the European Union — is a sign of a strong mobilization on the part of the international community. I also welcome the establishment of the Group of Five Sahel, aimed at coordinating the efforts of key countries. Indeed, we must ensure the proper coordination of these initiatives. At the United Nations, we welcome the ongoing work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, led by Jean-Paul Laborde, on the issue of borders in the Sahel, and the Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism initiative, led by the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. The work undertaken by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is also of great importance and must continue.
All these efforts are moving in the right direction, but they must be pursued so as to lead to concrete projects in all areas. Capacity-building should be a priority for the United Nations. The United Nations is also called on to help States of the region and African organizations to strengthen their cooperation in the fight against terrorism. We support the operationalization of such initiatives in the context of the African Peace and Security Architecture.
Resolution 2195 (2014), which we have adopted today, will give us a better overview of the ongoing United Nations efforts to address the issue of the support afforded by organized crime to terrorism and, on that basis, to strengthen the Organization’s reponse to that challenge. My country has chosen to co-sponsor the text. In general, France will continue to provide national support in the European framework and in the Security Council for initiatives to assist African countries in the fight against terrorism and organized crime.