MINUSMA-G5 Sahel Force: like 2 sides of the same coin [fr]
G5 Sahel Force ; MINUSMA - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 16 June 2017
(In French and in English)
Q: Il y a des progrès sur le G5 Sahel ?
Oui, les consultations se poursuivent dans un bon esprit. Nous avons aujourd’hui une très forte majorité du Conseil qui est en faveur de notre projet et nous souhaitons, encore une fois dans un bon esprit, conclure ces consultations sans trop tarder autour d’un bon texte.
Je souhaiterais vous dire un mot sur la MINUSMA qui est d’ailleurs complémentaire du dossier dont nous venons de parler.
We are about to have an important briefing and consultations on MINUSMA. As you know, the Council will renew the mandate of the Mission before the end of the month and we as France, as the pen holder, will present shortly a draft resolution in this regard.
On this, just three quick points:
The first is to underscore how important it is in our views to accelerate on the implementation of the peace process; this is the key for Mali to get back on track, and there is no time to waste. If you think of the installation of the interim administrations, mixed patrols, some progress has been made, some remains to be made. So we need to push for the acceleration of the peace process and to build on the progress made, first priority.
The second priority is to make sure that MINUSMA does have the equipment and troops it is lacking in order for it to fully implement its mandate. The last force generation conference chaired by the Secretary General himself, which is exceptional by the way, was promising in terms of new troops and equipment. So it’s really critical to move forward on this too, on this second front, in terms of helicopters and armored vehicles in particular. Second priority.
And three, the question of the mandate of MINUSMA and what we are doing with the G5 Sahel are completely complementary actually. On our draft resolution on the G5 Sahel Joint Force, our proposal is based on the formal request from African Union and the recommendation of the SG that the Council brings its full support behind the G5 Sahel Force. It will help secure the region, especially the borders of the 5 countries involved, and thus will help MINUSMA accomplish its task within Mali. That’s why the two endeavors, the G5 Sahel Force and the renewal of the MINUSMA mandate are truly complementary.
So again our priorities are about accelerating the implementation of the peace process, giving MINUSMA the means it needs to do its job according to the mandate. It’s also about bringing our full support to our African colleagues and friends who are willing to pay the price of the fight against terrorism. As you know, terrorism has no borders. It’s not their problem. It is our collective problem, our collective priority. The fight against terrorism is never as strong, and I would say as efficient, as when we are all united and firm against the terrorists.
Q: G5 resolution, how are negotiations going?
Consultations continue in a good spirit, because we obviously share the same goal, the same objectives and I think it’s important that the Security Council demonstrate its unity in this fight and its support to our African friends and colleagues. The Security Council has the moral and political responsibility to fully support our African partners in their much appreciated efforts to unite and join forces in the fight against terrorism. So that’s where we are and we’ll continue to work and hopefully have a conclusion soon.
Q: How do you answer the Americans’ criticism that this resolution isn’t necessary, that the G5 are going to go and do counter terrorism work, whether or not the Security Council gives its authorization?
We think it’s very important for the Security Council to demonstrate its full and united support to our African friends’ efforts to unite and join efforts in the fight against terrorism. We think it’s really critically important in itself, but also as a way for the Security Council to demonstrate, to illustrate its support to the efforts by our African colleagues and friends to unite, to build their own forces, to be able to act by themselves with our support in the fight against terrorism. So it’s very important in itself but it’s also very important in terms of the partnership that we want to strengthen with the African Union. And again we have the same, I would say core objectives with our American friends, so hopefully we’ll have a conclusion soon of the negotiations.
Q: But what kind of the role should the UN potentially play in funding?
It will be up to the SG to make some proposals, some recommendations about this aspect of your question. It will be a second step for us to decide based on the recommendations by the SG.