ASEAN: a key partner of the United Nations [fr]
Role of ASEAN
Statement by Mrs Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, Chargé d’affaires a.i.
Security Council - 30 January 2020
I too would like to thank the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for their briefings, which highlighted how cooperation between ASEAN and the United Nations cover all the areas regularly addressed by the Security Council, and beyond.
I would first like to underscore in particular the importance of the cooperation between the United Nations and ASEAN in the maintenance of international and regional peace and security. That cooperation continues to be strengthened, particularly since the adoption of the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between ASEAN and the United Nations at the ASEAN-United Nations Summit in Bali in 2011. There are currently 5,000 ASEAN member State personnel deployed within United Nations peace operations. France supports that mobilization by contributing to the activities of two training schools for future Blue Helmets, in Cambodia and Viet Nam, particularly by teaching them French for deployment in French-speaking areas. The participation of women in the peace and security agenda is crucial, and France commends the launch of the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry over a year ago.
ASEAN has also become a key partner of the United Nations in the fight against terrorism and organized crime. ASEAN’s active participation in the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which we will renegotiate this year, is one of the conditions underpinning its success in supporting countries of the region in drawing up national responses to those challenges and encouraging them to step up regional cooperation.
ASEAN and the United Nations have also joined forces to promote sustainable development. ASEAN’s close cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme, for example, has achieved significant results in economic and social development across the region. ASEAN and the United Nations have also been cooperating on the implementation of priority actions based on complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The links between ASEAN and the United Nations have been strengthened through the establishment of a partnership based on shared priorities, foremost among which are tackling inequalities, combating climate change and preserving the environment.
I also recall that United Nations coordination with regional organizations is a key tool in accomplishing the Organization’s mission of fostering peace and security. That is one of the major thrusts of the Secretary-General’s reform agenda, which France fully supports. That partnership is part of the framework provided for in Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations and without prejudice to the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.
The regional level is essential to reinforce and sometimes rebuild the bonds of trust and friendship among countries of the same region that have been formed based on geographical proximity and historical and cultural ties. That proximity and the awareness of local situations bestow full legitimacy on subregional and regional organizations to be stakeholders in the resolution of crises close to them.
In that regard, both the Council and ASEAN must be fully mobilized to ensure that the crimes committed in Burma, particularly in the Rakhine state, do not go unpunished. That is a moral and justice imperative. France notes the 23 January order of the International Court of Justice in the proceedings on the alleged violations by Burma in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar) on the provisional measures that it decided on, pending a decision on the merits, in order to safeguard the rights of the Rohingya people in Burma. The Burmese authorities must implement the protective measures decided on by the Court, ensure unimpeded access humanitarian aid and create conditions conducive to a voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of the Rohingya to Burma.
Moreover, as we said last August together with Germany and the United Kingdom, we welcome the ongoing negotiations between ASEAN member States and China to establish a code of conduct in the South China Sea, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and guaranteeing cooperation with third countries. France calls on all littoral States to take measures to prevent and reduce tensions and to promote and maintain peace, security, stability and safety in the region.
In conclusion, I wish to underline that France intends to deepen its relations with South-East Asia, in particular with ASEAN, as an organization that has contributed so much to peace and stability in a region that is central to the Indo-Pacific area. France wishes in particular to become a development partner of the organization so as to further bolster our work in the areas of multilateralism, sustainable development, peace and security in South-East Asia.