Amb. de Rivière briefed the press on CAR, Yemen and Lebanon before UNSC meeting
REMARKS TO THE PRESS BY
MR. NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
28 July 2020
A couple of words first on the Central African Republic. As you know we will renew right now the sanctions regime. This is good news. We will keep some restrictive measures vis-a-vis the Central African Republic. There will be a very small easing of the arms embargo to allow the security forces of the CAR to take care of their own security. But we renew this regime for a full year, which is very important. We will continue to support the Central African Republic and to make sure that the next elections, whether presidential or parliamentary, go well and the Security council and MINUSCA can continue to do the good job they are doing now.
On Yemen, we will have this session now with Martin Griffiths and Mark Lowcock. We really hope that the political situation can improve. France strongly supports the Secretary-General and the SRSG Martin Griffiths efforts.
It is really time to have an unconditional ceasefire everywhere in Yemen. It is time to have a political dialogue without any precondition. It is highly time to have confidence building measures in Yemen. It is time to have more humanitarian access because the situation is dire.
Yemen is suffering from Covid-19 and it’s probably one the worst cases. This is one country where we could implement resolution 2532, the one which we had obtained at the end of June.
So we really hope to unlock the situation and to bring the situation in Yemen back on track in full support from the Secretary-General and Martin Griffiths.
Q: I have a question on another pressing issue because you are the penholder on UNIFIL and clearly you know the situation in the last 24 hours involving Israel and Hezbollah. Tell me what is France’s view of that situation, the wider situation in Lebanon economically is pretty desperate, and whether any of this will play into your discussions about the new mandate?
The situation in Lebanon is a source of concern. As you may have seen the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, was there two days ago and he put very strong messages on all Lebanese parties to move for economic reform as well as for security reform. It is of course something we need to keep in mind when we try to help Lebanon, because France will continue to help Lebanon.
As far as UNIFIL is concerned, we will start in the coming days the negotiation on the renewal of the mandate, which expires at the end of August. I’m pretty confident. I think it will go well. We have a very good report by the Secretary-General. As you know UNIFIL is not a peace enforcement, a chapter VII operation, it has been there since 1978, it’s doing a very good job, it’s a five star peacekeeping operation with troops from NATO and other European countries, like France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Finland. They provide peace and stability in this difficult area. Of course we can improve some of the activities and we’ll look into that. But one should just imagine the situation in this area without UNIFIL.