Sahel mission: very helpful in bringing us closer together
G5 Sahel Joint Force/ MINUSMA - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Remarks in national capacity - 26 October 2017
First of all, I would like to pay tribute to the blue helmets of MINUSMA and present our sincere condolences to the families of the 3 fallen soldiers who died earlier today in the Northern part of Mali. It is another stark reminder of the high level threat in Mali and across the region.
With respect to our mission in the Sahel, there are three key lessons that I draw:
First lesson, the 3 Presidents of the 3 countries we visited (Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso) are fully committed to make the G5 Sahel Force operational as soon as possible ; and the three of them underscore the need for the international community to strongly support the force, both through bilateral and multilateral channels.
The second lesson is that there is a unanimous support among Council members to the G5 Sahel Joint Force. The Force is now seen as a necessary response to the terrorism threat across the Sahel region and a necessary complement to the action of MINUSMA and the French force Barkhane.
The third lesson that I draw: the key question now is not about the relevance of the G5 Sahel Force, nor the need to support it, but it is about the best way to convey this support. To this question, the vast majority of the Council members’ response is that we need a mix of both multilateral and bilateral support, which has always been France’s analysis.
In a nutshell these are the lessons that I draw from this very productive and very useful trip to the Sahel.
Now what about the next step? It will be the ministerial meeting of the Security Council chaired by Foreign Minister Le Drian on Monday 30th October. And Antonio Guterres, whose commitment you all know, will brief us and present the report you have all seen on the G5 Sahel. Then, based on all this, we will see together how we can move forward.
Long story short, I think the mission in the Sahel was very productive, very useful and very helpful in bringing us closer together.
You should ask our American friends. I don’t want to speak for them. I believe there is also from an American perspective a very positive commitment to the G5 Sahel Force, and the consultations that we are having with them, every day literally, are very constructive and positive.