The protection of Human Rights contributes to effective peace-building [fr]
PEACE OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
STATEMENT BY NICOLAS DE RIVIERE
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL
New York, 7 July2020
I thank the German presidency for organizing this open debate and I salute your presence, Madam Minister. I also thank Ms. Bachelet, Mr. Shaerer and Mr. Kitenge for their statements.
COVID-19 illustrates the interrelationship between Human Rights, development and peace. Progress must be made on these fronts in parallel. That is why the Security Council must take into account economic and social rights, as well as civil and political rights, when carrying out its mandate.
The protection of Human Rights is not only an objective in itself; it also contributes to effective peace-building.
The Human Rights mandate we give to peace operations should be an integral part of the political strategy led by the Special Representative or Special Envoy, in conjunction with UN country teams and national authorities. This political strategy must be based on an inclusive dialogue with all components of society, women, youth, Human Rights defenders, marginalized groups, to address the root causes of conflicts and prevent crises. This is the meaning of the reform and actions carried out by the UNSG, which we fully support. The inclusion of women in peace processes must stop being a slogan and become a reality.
I would like to commend the Human Rights components that perform essential functions:
First, by their warning role: in the DRC, the "Shabunda" plan, launched in response to investigations by MONUSCO, has led to the arrest of a leader of an armed group responsible for abuses;
Secondly, by supporting national authorities: in Mali, the Human Rights Division provides essential support to national investigations. In the CAR, MINUSCA supported the creation of the Special Criminal Court, whose first investigations into serious violations have been launched. The primary responsibility lies with the host States, without which there can be no effective human rights protection;
Thirdly, through their integration into local communities, which is the basis for early warning mechanisms for the protection of civilians;
And finally through their access to victims, which should make it possible to find answers to their demands for reparations. The Global Fund for Survivors, which France supports, should be able to draw on the expertise of peace missions and operations.
To fulfil this demanding mandate, peace operations must be provided with the necessary skills, resources and budgets.
The exemplary nature of the United Nations and its peacekeepers is crucial. Contributing to it is a priority for France.
I would like to recall the importance we attach to the policy of zero tolerance for sexual abuse. We support the certification procedure for national military units designated to serve in operations and recall the importance of adequate training to prevent sexual violence.
Every year, France trains 30,000 French-speaking African soldiers for deployment in peacekeeping operations. The training includes international humanitarian and human rights law. France also supports the strengthening of the role of regional organizations in this area. This is why legal advisers are placed with the European training missions in Mali, in the CAR, the NATO mission in Iraq and the G5 Sahel.
Let me recall the importance of the Human Rights due diligence policy followed by the UN in its cooperation with non-UN forces. It is a question of credibility but also of effectiveness. In the Sahel, the implementation of the Human Rights compliance framework is inseparable from the operationalization of the joint force. In this regard, we commend the work of the OHCHR.
Finally, there is no doubt that strict respect for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights is a condition for the success of the fight against terrorism and peacekeeping. This requires a Human Rights dialogue that must be continuous and constructive, solutions-oriented, to enable States to meet the security, justice and prosperity needs of their people.