MINURSO: France is committed to the return to a 12-month mandate [fr]
Rewal of MINURSO’s mandate
Explanation of vote by Mrs Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 30 April 2019
France welcomes the adoption of resolution 2468 (2019), renewing the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and supports the Personal Envoy of the Secretary- General for Western Sahara. My delegation thanks the American penholder for its in-depth consultations and its high-level engagement. First, I wish to reiterate France’s full support for the efforts of the Personal Envoy. This new resolution reaffirms the Security Council’s support for the political process it launched in Geneva, bringing together Morocco, the Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguía el-Hamra y de Río de Oro (Frente POLISARIO), Algeria and Mauritania for the first time in six years, in December. Personal Envoy Horst Köhler has all our support in moving forward and organizing a third meeting in Geneva in that format when he deems the conditions to be appropriate.
It is important for the four delegations to continue their discussions in a constructive spirit of compromise with a view to achieving a realistic, pragmatic, just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, in accordance with the Council’s resolutions. The two previous round tables allowed Morocco, the Frente POLISARIO, Algeria and Mauritania to agree on the special responsibility of the region and the need to develop trust. It is now necessary to build on those achievements. I take this opportunity to reiterate that France considers the 2007 Moroccan autonomy plan to be a serious and credible basis for discussions.
Secondly, I would like to recall France’s full support for the work of MINURSO and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara. The latest consultations with Special Representative Colin Stewart on 10 April have served as a reminder of the essential role played by that peacekeeping operation in ensuring respect for the ceasefire and thereby contributing to regional stability. The return to normalcy in Guerguerat, to which the Secretary-General refers in his latest report (S/2019/282), is proof of this and will remain the subject of vigilant attention. In that regard, I commend the outstanding work of the MINURSO teams, whose presence helps to ensure calm, reduce the risk of escalation by effectively preventing tensions on the ground and thus create the conditions necessary for the continuation of the dialogue among Morocco, the Frente POLISARIO, Algeria and Mauritania.
It is in the light of that essential role of MINURSO that I recall France’s commitment to the return to a 12-month mandate, which must remain the norm, while six-month mandates should be the exception. A one-year mandate ensures continuity and greater predictability in the management of this mission, while reducing uncertainties about its future. The existence and mandate of that peacekeeping operation should not be conditional on the progress of the political discussions or the good performance whereby MINURSO contributes by creating the right conditions on the ground. In that regard, we regret that the Council has not been able to commit itself to the fact that it will consider returning to a one-year term in due time, and we express the wish that it be renewed for one year in October.