We much favor a mission to the Lake Chad region
Lake Chad / Syria - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 12 January 2017
A few words on the Lake Chad public briefing that we are about to have. As you know this is for France a key priority for many reasons, one of them being the tremendous population displacement in Nigeria and neighboring countries affecting millions of people, women being particularly targeted.
In this context we much favor a mission by the Security Council to the Lake Chad region. For us, and I guess it is a lesson for the Security Council, there are 3 dimensions in this crisis that are really intertwined and that call for combining the leverage we have on these fronts, as the UNSG invites us to do: 1) on the military front, this is the fight against Boko Haram, where France as you know is very active helping by providing intelligence and training in particular, to Cameroon forces for example; 2) the second dimension is the humanitarian front, where the UN agencies must continue their best efforts in close cooperation with the local authorities. And we all know that the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad region is huge; 3) on the development side, our efforts are about tackling the roots of the crisis, including poverty. In this respect, I will mention in a few minutes the importance of France’s bilateral effort.
So that is about Lake Chad and it is very important meeting that we are about to have.
Q: How fast are you going to go on the resolution sanctioning the Syrian regime?
That is a good question. There is a fine line here. On one side, there is no time to waste because it is not only about Syria or even proliferation but the use of chemical weapons, meaning weapons of mass destruction. On the other side, it is important that we continue our best efforts, in good faith and good spirit, to forge the largest possible consensus. We are working on this fine line so it is a bit difficult for me to say “it will be tomorrow or the day after tomorrow”.
Q: Do you think it will be after Astana? And what do you expect of the Astana meeting?
As President Hollande said this morning, in a very important speech to the diplomatic community in Paris, we think that we have no time to waste to work on the conditions of a political issue in Syria. Astana can be a step in this direction.