Inclusive development, a necessary condition of security (01/19/2015)
Security Council - Inclusive development for the maintenance of international peace and security – Statement by Mr Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent of France to the United Nations, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. - 19 January 2015
I would like to thank Chile for initiating today’s debate and putting the issue of inclusive development, and the links between development and peace and security, on the Security Council’s agenda. It is a crucial issue for all of us, and one that has not been discussed in the Council since 2011 (see S/PV.6479). I welcome your presence, Madam President, which testifies to your country’s commitment to the subject. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Patriota, Permanent Representative of Brazil and Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, and Ms. Leymah Gbowee, President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa.
France associates itself with the statement to be delivered later on behalf of the European Union.
Inclusive development is a necessary condition of security. Rebellions and conflicts are often fuelled by a sense of exclusion and injustice on the part of a social group or an ethnic or religious community. Many of the conflicts on the Council’s agenda arise in the wake of human-rights violations and an insufficiently inclusive political process. At the same time, it must be made clear that it is primarily up to States to institute those processes if conflicts are to be prevented. From that point of view, the Security Council can only encourage States to embrace this issue and establish policies of inclusive development aimed at preventing conflict.
Conflict prevention naturally implies respecting all citizens’ rights, including economic, social and cultural rights. Only institutions that represent the people’s legitimate aspirations, the transparent management of public monies, an independent judiciary and law enforcement, and security forces that respect the law are capable of ensuring sustainable development. A State’s stability thus depends on respect for the rule of law. In particular, such policies should focus on gender equality and women’s participation in decision-making. Gender equality is not only one of our most fundamental human rights; combating every form of discrimination between men and women is also a factor in development, in the stabilization of countries in transition and in peace.
In that regard, Madam President, I welcome the foundational work you have led in New York in the past few years as the first Executive Director of UN-Women. France is currently working with UN-Women on a number of cooperation programmes aimed at strengthening women’s participation in development, including a gender and social cohesion employment programme for young men and women in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. In our national capacity, I should add that, working with Congolese non-governmental organizations, we have also established a socioeconomic rehabilitation programme for women rendered vulnerable by the violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
I would also like to emphasize the importance of an inclusive approach as countries prepare to emerge from crisis. Reconciliation often requires the fair division of power among the communities in conflict. In this context, women can play a decisive role. I welcome, in this regard, Ms. Gbowee’s commitment and the role of women played in the transition to peace in Liberia. It is essential that women be involved from this moment forward in the peace negotiations in Mali so as to prevent their exclusion from a peace agreement and to ensure their inclusion in the post-conflict transition period.
Finally, I would like to make some remarks on the role of the Peacebuilding Commission, echoing our debate on this subject last week (see S/PV.7359). Ten years on from the establishment of the peacebuilding architecture, whose role and achievements have just been recalled by Ambassador Patriota, undeniable progress has been achieved, first, in terms of a better understanding of the specific challenges facing countries emerging from conflict and, secondly, in terms of better coordination of the efforts under various international interventions in the countries concerned. Ambassador Patriota cited examples where the peacebuilding architecture has made an effective contribution to improving the situation. These efforts must continue. In this regard, France supports the review of the peacebuilding architecture review, which will be carried out during 2015 jointly with the strategic review of peace operations. We welcome both of these exercises.
I would like to conclude by recalling that the General Assembly will adopt in September 2015 an ambitious and renewed development programme for the 15 years to come, which will orient all of our actions towards sustainable development with a comprehensive approach. This programme will include ambitious goals on fighting inequality, on gender equality, on peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, on access to justice for all, and on transparent, accountable and inclusive institutions. These tools will contribute to the prevention of conflicts.
The year 2015 will also mark 70 years since the establishment of the United Nations, and in this context, the various bodies of the United Nations, including the Security Council, must more than ever strengthen the coherence of their respective activities towards an approach that is yet more preventive and inclusive in dealing with crises. Peace and security can never be won as long as discrimination against groups or individuals persists.