EU and UN share the same commitment to multilateralism [fr]
Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council – 12 March 2019
At the outset, I warmly and once again thank the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms. Federica Mogherini, for her important briefing, which highlighted the issues surrounding the ever-closer cooperation between the Security Council and the European Union (EU) in New York and on the ground.
The European commitment to multilateralism is the fruit of a history in which the European Union and the United Nations both have their roots and their raison d’être. As the High Representative said most eloquently, both organizations responded to the call of a generation that experienced the two world conflicts — a call that still resonates every day in this Chamber: never again. No more military aggression against a sovereign country; no more displacement and decimation of entire peoples; no more civilian populations targeted by bullets and bombs. The European Union and the United Nations fundamentally share the same DNA and are today linked by a strategic partnership at its full strength. In that connection, I would like to emphasize two points.
The first begins with the observation that the European Union and the United Nations are no longer limited to cooperation on a case-by-case basis; they are complementary across the entire spectrum of peace operations. Indeed, in accordance with the priorities identified in the EU-United Nations Strategic Partnership on Peace Operations and Crisis Management for the years 2019 and 2020, the European Union and the United Nations are working hand in hand for conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
As regards conflict prevention, the European Union is leading the way. The EU recently established an international contact group on Venezuela with the aim of finding a political and peaceful solution to the crisis there. In Europe, the High Representative is personally engaged, with our full support, in facilitating the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia with a view to reaching a comprehensive and definitive agreement on the normalization of relations between those two States. I could, of course, cite many other examples.
The European Union also works in support of United Nations mediation. As the High Representative again recalled, in the case of Syria the European Union has pledged not to finance reconstruction until a credible political solution, under United Nations auspices and on the basis of all provisions of resolution 2254 (2015), is in place.
In the field of peacekeeping operations, the States members of the Union contribute at all levels. In terms of budget, their combined contribution amounts to 32 per cent of the peacekeeping budget. The scale of that contribution, which is by far the largest, deserves to be better understood and better appreciated, in particular at a time when some are reluctant to honour their due commitments.
On the ground in Mali, Libya, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Kosovo and the Middle East, European civilian and military missions are deployed under the Common Security and Defence Policy, alongside peacekeeping operations or special political missions. Some of these European missions now play a central role in responding to threats to peace, such as Operation Atalante, which combats piracy off the coast of Somalia and provides protection for World Food Programme ships. Those missions are also essential in supporting security sector reform. I am thinking of in particular — Ms. Mogherini mentioned them — the European Union training missions in Mali and the Central African Republic, which are complementary to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic. Through its African Peace Facility, the European Union also participates in the funding of African peace and security operations, in particular, as was said, the African Union Mission in Somalia and the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel).In the area of peacebuilding, the European Union consistently supports United Nations efforts through projects that are where development and security issues intersect, in full alignment with the Secretary-General’s priorities. It is even one of the European Union’s strengths or assets. For example, in Colombia, the EU supports the reintegration of ex-combatants alongside the United Nations verification mission. In many countries, the European Union and its member States are among the main international donors. That trend is expected to continue to increase, since the EU adopted a record budget of €1.6 billion for humanitarian aid in 2019.The exceptional nature of that partnership and the successes seen over the past 20 years should collectively encourage us to continue with the progress made on the common priorities of the two organizations in the context of Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations. That is my second point.
Progress must be made in particular on the women and peace and security agenda, which is one of our main priorities, and more generally on all issues related to human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as international humanitarian law. As underlined in the EU strategic approach to the women, peace and security agenda, that is not a priority among others but an approach that should permeate all initiatives common to our two organizations, as my German colleague clearly said earlier.
We also fully support the development of trilateral cooperation among the European Union, the United Nations and the African Union, as mentioned by the High Representative at the beginning of the meeting. That trilateral cooperation is expected to play a fundamental role, particularly in peacekeeping. I am thinking in particular of support for the scaling up and sustainable and predictable funding of African peace operations, which, in our view, are essential given the opportunity for such African peace operations to improve the effectiveness of peacekeeping. We would also mention the G5 Sahel Joint Force, in which the United Nations and the European Union play a key role as part of the technical agreement on MINUSMA operational and logistical support to the Joint Force. That trilateral cooperation is also evident in the area of migration. Since its establishment at the EU-African Union (AU) summit in Abidjan in November 2017, the EU-AU-United Nations task force has enabled more than 37,000 migrants stranded in Libya to return to their countries of origin.
The conflict-prevention tools available to us also need to be strengthened. I am thinking in particular of mediation, early warning systems, security sector reform and the close coordination of political messages.
The European Union and the United Nations share the same commitment to multilateralism not only as an overall vision but also in their daily practices. Apart from its role as a regional organization, that is one of the elements or pillars of the current international order. On the basis of that common vision of conflict management, we, as members of the Security Council, have, I believe, the duty to make the most of that close relationship and Europe’s commitment to strong multilateralism.
In conclusion, in view of the High Representative’s experience in mediation, I would like her opinion on how the Security Council can effectively support mediation processes in which the European Union is engaged.