UNIFIL: a crucial role to safeguarding peace in an extremely troubled regional context [fr]
The situation in the Middle East - UNIFIL vote
Statement by Mrs. Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, Chargée d’Affaires a.i.
Security Council - 30 August 2018
France welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2433, which is a strong signal of our collective support for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), whose role is crucial to safeguarding peace in an extremely troubled regional context. As penholder and as is the case every year, France worked to preserve this Security Council unity.
I wish to recall in the first place the significant efforts undertaken by UNIFIL and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to implement resolution 2373, adopted last year. We wanted to continue those efforts by improving and clarifying UNIFIL’s tasks. This new resolution also recalls the measures to be taken by Member States to prevent the sale or supply of weapons or materials not authorized by the Government of Lebanon or UNIFIL. But the mandate of the Force, its tasks and capabilities are preserved, and the balance between all the concerns formulated is maintained.
As we often repeat, UNIFIL is a regional public good. It is an essential element of stability in an area marred by crises. It fulfils its tasks in a demanding environment, monitoring the cessation of hostilities around the Blue Line and preventing any risk of escalation, including through the Tripartite Mechanism. The mission’s essential deterrent action is at the heart of its mandate. Moreover, the requirement to guarantee the freedom of movement of UNIFIL is strongly recalled in this new text. For us, that is an essential part of the Force’s mandate to which we must remain vigilant, as we saw in the 4 August incident.
UNIFIL’s work also supports the strengthening of the Lebanese Armed Forces and their deployment throughout the territory, in order to enable the Lebanese State to fully exercise its authority and sovereignty. Only the presence of the Lebanese State and its armed and security forces, in accordance with resolution 1701 (2006), will create the conditions for lasting stability in southern Lebanon and in Lebanese territorial waters. It is with that purpose in mind that we approached this renewal, in particular with regard to the maritime component of Force, whose missions are intended, when the time comes and gradually, to be provided by the Lebanese Navy. That is also the goal pursued with the standing up of the model regiment, which UNIFIL will continue to support.
In that context, and in order to face up to these serious challenges, it is obviously necessary that a Government be rapidly formed in Lebanon. That is also reflected in this resolution. It was essential to reaffirm the unanimous support of the Council for UNIFIL, which we have done today. Protecting the UNIFIL mandate and its neutrality is to contribute to the stability of Lebanon, at a time when its political balances are fragile, and to safeguard peace along the Blue Line.