Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the Horn of Africa region [fr]
Women, Peace and Security in the he Horn of Africa
Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 4 November 2019
First of all, Madam President, I would like to welcome your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council and to thank South Africa for having carried out that function effectively throughout the month of October and for having led the Council on the Horn of Africa. I thank the Deputy Secretary-General for her statement. Thanks also to the Permanent Observer of the African Union for her briefing.
The Deputy Secretary-General’s visit to the Horn of Africa is very timely, given the encouraging momentum in the region today. Women are stakeholders in that process, and the momentum must benefit them over time. The resolution we adopted last week (resolution 2493 (2019)) reminded us that the time has come to implement all dimensions of the women and peace and security agenda, everywhere in the world. The United Nations must mobilize fully in support of States.
We welcome the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, in the area of women’s political participation in that region. We also commend the efforts of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia to strengthen peace in the region, including his signing of an agreement with Eritrea and the actions he has undertaken in the Sudan with the African Union. We are delighted that he has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Ethiopia, which has a woman President and 10 women ministers, is a leading example in terms of women’s political participation.
The situation in the Sudan is also encouraging, and France supports Prime Minister Hamdok’s efforts to achieve lasting peace and to revive the economy. Sudanese women played a decisive role in their country’s revolution. They have earned their rightful place in the transition. In that connection, we call for compliance with regard to the quota for women’s representation that was set out in the Constitutional Declaration. The fact that there are four women ministers in the Government is positive, but that should only be the beginning.
Despite that positive momentum, significant challenges remain. We hope that South Sudan will be able to form a Government of National Unity by 12 November. In that regard, we call on all South Sudanese parties to respect the 35-per cent quota for women in transitional bodies, in accordance with the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
We also call for a rapprochement between Djibouti and Eritrea in order to enable those two countries to resolve the persistent problems between them. In that regard, we consider it necessary for the Security Council to continue closely monitoring the relations between those two countries.
Finally, in Somalia, while the recent progress achieved by the Somali National Army is encouraging, we remain concerned about the frequency and intensity of attacks by Al-Shabaab and the sexual violence that is being perpetrated in the country. We call for the resumption of dialogue between the Federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states, and believe that Somali women have a key role to play in that process.
I will conclude by reiterating that it is important to France that these transitions enable significant progress to be achieved on the ground with regard to the resolutions of the Council on women and peace and security.