23 May 2017 - The Security Council must support robust peacekeeping [fr]
Peacekeeping - Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 23 May 2017
I thank the Uruguayan presidency for organizing this important and much-anticipated interaction with the general officers in charge of specific peacekeeping operations. I would also like to thank the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and the general officers in charge of the military components of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, the United Nations Mission in Liberia, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for their briefings on important issues so critical to the success of peacekeeping.
Allow me to begin by paying tribute to them and to the more than 100,000 peacekeepers deployed around the world. Without their everyday actions, their personal commitment and their courage, and that of their soldiers, the men and women who have demonstrated, very recently, in the Central African Republic and Mali, their acceptance of the ultimate sacrifice, in what state would our world, already so weakened by the proliferation of crises, be? How many civilian lives have been saved by the Blue Helmets, who are increasingly confronted with direct and often asymmetrical lethal threats? Let me assure them of our admiration, our trust and our support for their noble task. Let me also assure them, above all, of the constant care taken within the Security Council to provide them with the mandates, means and political support necessary to ensure the success of their missions. It is our responsibility within the Council to fully understand the challenges that they and their soldiers face, including the complex environments and security threats. We do that by listening to them today, and even more so through regular dialogue with troop-contributing countries, which now takes place systematically each time the Council takes the initiative to renew a mandate. Today, I would like to highlight three key points that underpin their day-to-day work.
First, we are mindful of the smooth conduct of their military operations, both during the pre-deployment training phase, the deployment phase, of course, and the withdrawal phase. That would not be possible without integrated planning in New York among all the actors of the Security Council, Secretariat, the troop-contributing countries, and also the host States. That integrated planning must also continue on the site of the activities, through coordinated action by all constituents. That is the key to their success. Secondly, I would also like to stress the importance of giving them the means to carry out their mission. That is our responsibility and our commitment. We have a duty in the Council to ensure that they deploy with the best trained troops. To that end, I would like to stress the importance of the regional peacekeeping conferences, in particular that held in Paris in October 2016, which was devoted to peacekeeping in Frenchspeaking environments and during which language training and the importance of interaction with the local population were highlighted. It is also important that their troops be deployed without hidden national restrictions and with acceptable and standardized protection capabilities, as well as with facilitating capabilities that will enable them to conduct their operations under the best conditions in terms of efficiency and protection. We hardly even need to underscore here the crucial importance of having a fully coherent and unified command structure on critical capacities. Here I would stress medical- evacuation capacities, which must be available around the clock, seven days a week, because threats do not stop on the weekend or at night. I would also mention the equipment that is needed to protect against improvised explosive devices in cases where troops face such threats in their theatres of operation.
Thirdly, and finally, we must be very clear with regard to robust peacekeeping. If we ask Force Commanders to implement robust mandates, then we commit ourselves for our part to provide them with all of the necessary political support as well as S/PV.7947 United Nations peacekeeping operations 23/05/2017 20/31 17-14652 adequate capacity, in full accordance with their rules of engagement, which must also give them the means to successfully accomplish their mission. This is our moral commitment towards them.
This annual meeting with Force Commanders is vital in order to enable them to share their current concerns; they should never hesitate to turn to us. We in the Council consider them to be our armed branch in the service of international peace and security. Allow me to conclude my statement by once again paying tribute to the Force Commanders. Their current peacekeeping profession is not an essentially military one, perhaps, but it is a task that only the military can carry out with such success. I thank them warmly once again for their exemplary commitment in the service of peace.