Coordination between the mission and the country team needs to be strengthened [fr]
Strengthening partnerships for successful nationally-owned transitions
Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United nations
Security Council - 18 July 2019
I wish to thank Mr. Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Mr. Bousquet, Senior Director, Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group of the World Bank; Mr. Baldeh, Director, Transition States Coordination Office of the African Development Bank; and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia, who is with us in his capacity as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission. I would also like to thank you, Mr. President, for having organized this important debate and for having invited current host countries of peacekeeping operations.
The transition phases of peacekeeping and peacebuilding are important and delicate junctures that require us to work together.
I should like to begin by welcoming the measures introduced by the Secretary-General to reform peacekeeping and strengthen the coherence of the United Nations system in terms of peacebuilding. These reforms should in particular serve to enable preparations for the transition and peacebuilding phases from the very moment an operation is deployed. The deployment of transition experts and the releasing of guidelines in February on planning transition processes are also welcome developments.
The withdrawal of an operation must be anticipated, in particular by strengthening coordination between the mission and the country team. In this regard, we commend the efforts of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur aimed at funding joint projects and allowing the country team to take over.
The Peacebuilding Commission also has a major role to play in preparing and supporting the transition phases. The diversity of its membership and the flexibility in its functioning allow for long-term dialogue to support the host country in developing its peacebuilding strategy.
I would also like to commend the work of the United Nations Police units and the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions of the Department of Peace Operations for having strengthened good governance and the institutional capacities of States in transition phases.
That brings me to my second point, which is on strengthening partnerships with national actors. Transition means, first and foremost, handing over responsibility to national authorities. Building their capacities is therefore essential. However, beyond resources and capacities, it is essential to listen to the priorities of the host State. Successful examples of transition in Côte d’Ivoire in 2017 and Liberia in 2018 have shown us the extent to which national ownership is essential.
In order to sustain national ownership, it must be inclusive and involve all peace actors, underpinned by the strong participation of women. Such peace also means putting the concerns and rights of future generations at the forefront as they will be the guarantors of its sustainability. That includes the reintegration into society of children recruited by armed groups. France has been and will remain active on that issue. It is imperative that any approach aimed at preventing the resurgence of conflicts incorporate the fight against impunity and create favourable conditions for the flourishing of civil society and a pluralistic media with the freedom of expression guaranteed. Experience has shown that without those elements peace is rarely sustainable. That is a priority for France as part of our prevention, resilience and sustainable peace strategy, adopted in 2018, and in that regard I welcome the projects financed by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund to step up the international community’s actions on the subject.
I would also like to touch on the partnerships between the United Nations and institutions with the means to complement our efforts. We must think in terms of complementarity, coherence and the multiplication of our efforts. We need to be innovative and intervene in a coordinated and large-scale manner in order to prevent countries emerging from a crisis from relapsing into instability a few years later.
Financing for peacebuilding remains a major challenge. The quantum leap that the Peacebuilding Fund has experienced sets a good example, but we must do more to devise innovative financing and involve the private sector.
France fully supports ongoing efforts to strengthen the partnership between the United Nations and the World Bank. More generally, we also encourage partnerships with major donors, including the European Union and, at our national level, the French Development Agency, which now has a peace and resilience fund financed in part by a financial transaction tax and which will be endowed with €200 million per year by 2020.
Partnerships with regional organizations are obviously essential. France is particularly committed to the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union. In the Sahel, where the international community must remain fully mobilized for the long term, the Alliance for the Sahel was conceived as the essential complement to what the Group of Five for the Sahel has achieved in the field of security.
Several transitions will soon test our collective ability to properly address this crucial phase. I would mention in particular Darfur, Haiti, Iraq and soon the Democratic Republic of Congo. We cannot afford to fail.