21 June 2017 - G5 Sahel: Decisive support for an African initiative against terrorism [fr]
Adoption of the resolution supporting the strength of the G5 Sahel - Explanation of vote by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 21 June 2017
France welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2359. Through this important and, in many ways, seminal text, the Security Cuncil expresses its full support for the Force conjointe du G5 Sahel, established by the Group of Five States for the Sahel (G-5) to combat the terrorist threat they face, which knows no borders. The resolution calls on the entire international community to provide logistical, perational and financial assistance to the G-5 States, in particular via the swift holding of a donors conference. Lastly, via the resolution, the Council expresses its determination to meet on a number of occasions in the months to come in order, among other things, to consider possible measures to be taken to support the deployment of the G-5 Joint Force France. France will make that a priority during its presidency of the Security Council in the month of October.
The resolution we just adopted provides robust and decisive support to a major African initiative, endorsed and authorized by the African Union, that seeks to combat terrorism. The resolution makes a contribution to the strategic approach to encourage the willingness of African countries to take responsibility for the security of their continent. It is fully in line with the need — promoted by the Secretary-General — to bolster the partnership between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, especially in Africa. The Joint Force will support and complement the efforts of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) by operating on territory thus far not covered and by conducting counter-terrorism activities, which does not fall within the mandate of MINUSMA. By contributing to securing the region, it will also enable MINUSMA to focus on its priority tasks and will facilitate the implementation of its mandate. It will also operate in coordination with the French forces of Operation Barkhane, with which operational contacts have already been established on the ground.
For France and for Europe, peace and security in the Sahel constitutes a crucial priority that has a direct impact on our own national security. The 4,000 French troops deployed in the region at the request of the G-5 countries are pursuing their counter-terrorism operations by supporting the forces of the G-5 States. Twenty of them have laid down their lives in the process. At a time when terrorism strikes everywhere throughout the world, we cannot leave the Sahel to become a new haven for terrorist organizations from all over the world. It is our collective security that is at stake in the Sahel, not just the security of the G-5 countries. That reality means that we must act together and to coordinate. It is for that reason in particular that the G-5 States have turned to the Security Council. France deeply believes that the Security Council has a moral and political responsibility to provide unanimous support to our African partners, who are coming together to combat the terrorist threat, in particular in the Sahel. That shows just how important our vote today is.
The Council has provided steadfast support to the building of African capacity to respond to crises. It has also been a steadfast supporter of African States and organizations in their determination to take their destiny and security into their own hands. Providing clear support to the G-5 Sahel Joint Force is therefore above all a demonstration of coherence to our African partners and friends. It is also a matter of promoting an ambitious vision, namely, that of a strategic partnership with our African friends.
African States and organizations are increasingly assuming responsibility for deploying their own forces to fight directly against terrorism, thereby complementing United Nations peacekeeping operations. We wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the sacrifices that they have made for their own security, and also for ours. We commend this profound and positive development with a view to guaranteeing international peace and security. It is our collective responsibility, and the responsibility of the United Nations in particular, to support them tangibly in their efforts at a political level — but also at a financial level, as often they lack the necessary resources to effectively combat terrorism. France intends to step up its efforts to support African States and organizations in their determination to take responsibility for their own security and to respond to the terrorist threat.
Let us make no mistake: resolution 2359 (2017) is a seminal text. Not only is the Security Council providing strong, decisive support for the mobilization of our African partners in the struggle against terrorism through the G-5 Sahel Joint Force, but the resolution also embodies a strategic vision, that of a partnership with our African partners in the field of peace and security, of which we are opening a new chapter today.
Rest assured of France’s determination to foster the profound, irreversible impetus that the Security Council has generated today in its relationship with Africa.