6 October 2016 - The EUNAVFOR Sophia has saved more than 25,000 individuals [fr]
Adoption of resolution 2312 - EUNAVFOR Sophia - Explanation of vote by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 6 October 2016
France welcomes the adoption of resolution 2312 (2016), which extends for 12 months the mandate on which the EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia is based, to fight against migrants on the high seas off the coast of Libya. I thank the British penholder for the very effective work done on this issue. Throughout the negotiations, the resolution enjoyed the full support of the European Union members of the Security Council.
Every day more men and women, often accompanied by children, risk their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in the hands of smugglers who cynically exploit their distress. The European Union EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia has saved more than 25,000 individuals since the beginning of the year. These are all lives that were saved. This is only part of the response to the overall crisis of migrants, but it remains useful and necessary nonetheless. The effectiveness of the EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia is based to a large extent on the mandate provided by the Council, which allows it to have at its disposal the necessary resources to effectively combat the trafficking in migrants. It strives to do so in the framework of more general cooperation with the Government of National Accord, led by Prime Minister Serraj, which will soon involve the training of Libyan coast guards by the European Union.
As was the case with resolution 2240 (2015), this new text precisely defines the conditions under which the use of force is allowed in facing up to traffickers and smugglers. It also includes robust guarantees for the protection of the rights of migrants and refugees aboard the ships in question. Nothing has changed on that decisive point, and therefore our demands remain the same.
France considers it crucial that the United Nations continue to mobilize to come up with a comprehensive solution to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and the tragic situations it leads to. This text, in our view, is part of the answer. Our belief is that the Council cannot remain on the sidelines in silence in the tragic context of the situation in the Mediterranean right now.