18 March 2016 - France will soon propose a draft UNSC resolution on Burundi [fr]
Burundi, Western Sahara, North Korea - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 18 March 2016
In coordination with Egypt, we took the initiative of this important meeting of the Security Council on the situation in Burundi. The participation of the Secretary-General and Prince Zeid are a good illustration of, both the importance of this meeting, and also, of the concerns that we have vis-à-vis the risk of a downward spiral in this country. We see this meeting of the Security Council as an opportunity to strengthen both the commitment and unity of the international community to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Burundi. As you know, several new elements took place over the last weeks. We had the Security Council visit in the country, we then had the visit of the UN Secretary-General, we had the key role played by the African Union: the recent visit by African heads of state in Burundi leading to the decision to deploy observers of the African Union there. We also had the appointment of a co-facilitator of the East African Community States, Benjamin Mkapa. So, against this background, we think this is a good time to have this meeting in order to fully support the efforts of the African organizations to find a solution to the crisis in Burundi.
And to that effect, France will soon propose a draft resolution to its partners on Burundi. All this, keeping in mind the three key objectives that we continue to have:
Number one, to strengthen international commitment and international presence in Burundi to help reduce tensions and the violence; number two, to promote the launch of a truly inclusive inter-Burundian dialogue; and number three, to ensure the respect for human rights, which is, of course, a major concern in itself.
All this in compliance with the letter and spirit of the Arusha Accord, which, from our point of view, is more than ever the compass that should guide all international partners and, of course, all stakeholders in this country.
Mr. Ambassador, a question on Western Sahara and also on North Korea. Some Council members say that France and Spain among two other countries were the ones pushing for the Council not to take a strong stand in support of the Secretary-General, but to keep it on a bilateral level. Is this true and if you can explain why?
First, on North Korea, as you know, we are very concerned by the launch of ballistic missiles last night. They are a clear violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. As such, the Security Council must strongly condemn them, there is no doubt in our mind. And this is a particularly dangerous and destabilizing headlong rush by the Pyongyang regime, to which the Security Council must respond with firmness and unity. When proliferation and the risk of proliferation is at stake, weakness is, simply, not an option. That’s for North Korea.
With respect to Western Sahara, we, as France, but also as member of the Security Council, are having one clear objective, which is to appease the tensions. And that is why we believe that, at this stage, an important thing in order to appease the tensions, is for Morocco and the UN to have a serene, respectful, and in-depth dialogue. We believe this is absolutely important in order to, again, appease the tensions. This is our number one priority, and we will continue on this path.