France thanks UNSC for its exemplary support following terrorist attacks (01/29/2015) [fr]
UNSC wrap up for the month of January - Statement by Mr Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 29 January 2015
At the outset, I would like to thank you, Mr. President, and the entire Chilean team for the work you carried out in January. You have begun this year very well, with a heavy programme combining a useful field mission in Haiti and a dense and productive agenda in New York. Moreover, we were honoured by the presence of the President of Chile, Ms. Bachelet Jeria, in the Council.
January 2015 will remain forever in the collective memory of the French people. The terrorist attack against the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the crimes that followed it against the representatives of the security forces, and then the anti-semitic attack at the Hyper Casher market were deeply shocking for France and the rest of the world. On behalf of my country, I would like to once again thank the United Nations for its exemplary support through the statement (SC/11727) issued by the Security Council on 7 January, through the minute of silence observed by the Council and through the commitment of the Secretary-General, who came to express his support to us in the French Mission in New York, as well as the representatives of so many of Council members’ countries for their expressions of solidarity.
The attacks underscore the extent to which, in an interdependent world, the security of all of us is a common good. More than ever, peace and stability in the Middle East cannot be disassociated from those of Europe. More than ever, France is committed to the future of the Middle East. In that connection, the current political crisis in Yemen has created a power vacuum in which Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is prospering. In that context, we reaffirm our support for the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General aimed at promoting the establishment of a Government of national unity and the continuation of the process of political transition. Those conditions are necessary to continue combatting terrorism in that country.
Early 2015 has also been marked by the rapid deterioration of the situation in Ukraine and the renewal of combat by separatists supported by Russia, in violation of the ceasefire and the Minsk agreements, which they committed to uphold last September. The attacks carried out by separatists these past few days, and in particular the offensive launched in Mariupol, seemed to indicate that they were deliberately targeting civilians. As the Secretary-General recalled to the press last Saturday, they could constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law. It is urgent to de-escalate the situation and to put the political process back on track. That will require a more constructive attitude on the part of Russia, which needs to stop supporting the separatists, in particular by supplying them with weapons.
There can be no military solution to the conflict. The Minsk agreements of September 2014 remain the only basis for a lasting solution to the conflict. France continues to mobilize and will continue its efforts in close contact with its German partners and the Ukrainian and Russian authorities in the framework of the Normandy format meetings.
I shall now turn to the African crisis. The influence of Boko Haram is spreading in Nigeria, as we saw in January, and beyond to neighbouring countries. The atrocities being committed are growing worse. The humanitarian consequences are horrible and pose a threat to the peace and stability of the region. In May 2014, the Paris summit warned about this phenomenon and led to the mobilization and strengthening of regional cooperation, as has been recalled by the follow-up meetings, in particular the Niamey meeting held on 20 January.
The next step is to make the Multinational Joint Task Force operational without delay by developing a concept of operations, a concept of logistics support, rules of engagement and all other necessary documents, as was agreed in Niamey. The decisions follow and comply with the call launched by the Security Council in an important presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/4) adopted on the eve of the Niamey meeting. France, like its partners, stands ready to consider a binding resolution of the Security Council authorizing the regional force on that basis.
In Mali, the escalation of fighting between armed groups in recent weeks is very worrisome. In implementing its mandate, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) had to use force on 20 January against a rebel group — the Mouvement national pour la libération de l’Azawad — which was firing on the city of Tabankort and on the MINUSMA camp. As underscored by the majority of Council members during consultations on 6 January, the deteriorating security situation requires joint pressure on the part of the international community on all parties to cease the fighting, respect the ceasefire and resume the Algiers negotiations without delay with a view to achieving lasting and inclusive peace. Before the peace talks resume in Algiers, we will propose a presidential statement of the Council to demand, in the clearest possible way, that the Malian parties return in good faith and without delay to the path of peace.
January was an important month for the Democratic Republic of the Congo; 2 January — the date of the ultimatum established for the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda — marked the failure of the disarmament process of that armed group. The Council reacted immediately by holding an emergency meeting to examine the situation and adopted a strong presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/1) on the need to take immediate action against that group. As we come to the end of the month, we expect the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, now more than ever, to assume their responsibilities and undertake operations against the armed group.
The Council also met to discuss the findings of the strategic review of the United Nations presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Fourteen years on since the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo deployed in the country, we must step up efforts to ensure that the mandate of the Mission, in particular in terms of protecting civilians, is more actively and effectively implemented. According to the recommendations of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, we need a force that is more modern, mobile and responsive, but also more determined, if we are to make a difference on the ground and persuade the population of the added value of our efforts.
The Council spoke forcefully on 22 January regarding the riots in Kinshasa. We warmly welcome the outcome of the crisis. However, we must remain alert. We call once again for the legal framework and timetable for the elections to be developed by consensus.
Finally, the first half of 2015 will be an important period for the Central African Republic in its return to stability and peace. We welcome the continuing deployment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), which should continue at a steady pace. We also welcome the robust posture that MINUSCA has already adopted and which it is particularly important to strengthen in this period.
Major milestones are on the horizon as we approach the Bangui Forum and the legislative and presidential elections. They must allow us by August 2015 to inclusively complete the transition period led by President Catherine Samba-Panza, with the support of international partners and the tripartite mediation led by President Denis Sassou Nguesso. The Security Council must remain engaged to ensure that these essential steps for the stabilization of the Central African Republic succeed, that the timetable is respected and that the efforts of all parties focus on these same goals.
Achieving stabilization also means combating impunity and respecting human rights. The report just issued by the international investigation commission makes an important contribution in that regard.
I conclude by thanking once again the Chilean presidency and wishing