We must maintain the Security Council’s commitment to Guinea-Bissau [fr]
Guinea-Bissau - Statement by Mrs Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 16 May 2018
I, too, would like to thank Mr. Mauro Vieira, Ambassador of Brazil; Mr. Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs; and Mr. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), for their insightful briefings on the political and security situation in Guinea-Bissau. France is very grateful for their respective activities, which occurred alongside the resumption of dialogue between the Guinea-Bissau parties following the October 2016 Conakry Agreement. I would like to touch on three points that have already been highlighted by previous speakers.
First, I wish to reiterate France’s full support for the appointment by President José Mario Vaz of Aristides Gomes as consensual Prime Minister. A year and a half after the Conakry Agreement, this appointment attests to the will of the parties to break out of the political impasse. France also welcomes the formation by Prime Minister Gomes of an inclusive Government, whose main undertaking will be to create the political and institutional conditions necessary for the holding of parliamentary elections in November.
Secondly, those recent political developments, which we had hoped for, reflect the coordinated actions of the international community and regional organizations to resolve the Guinea-Bissau crisis. In that respect, I reiterate France’s full support for the initiatives of regional organizations, particularly the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), whose role has been crucial. It was in the aftermath of the extraordinary session of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on Guinea-Bissau that President Vaz appointed Aristides Gomes as Prime Minister. We are convinced that the solution to the conflict will be given pride of place through consultation and engagement with local actors. In that respect, the group of five partners of Guinea-Bissau, mentioned by Ambassador Vieira, constitutes a propitious coordination platform that should be maintained and supported.
Thirdly, it is crucial that the commitment of the Security Council, the Peacebuilding Commission and international donors support the efforts of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), as well as those of UNODC, whose role is essential in creating a healthy environment that is conducive to lasting political stabilization. The recent history of the country calls for subdued optimism in the face of recent progress. It is therefore particularly important that we collectively send the right message, one of vigilance and continued commitment, following the appointment of a consensus Prime Minister.The new UNIOGBIS mandate in resolution 2404 (2018) should help support the priority areas for the resolution of the crisis in Guinea-Bissau, namely, the implementation of the Conakry Agreement, adherence to the expected time frame for the electoral cycle and carrying out the process of reviewing the Constitution. In that regard, I wish to express our best wishes to the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General and express our appreciation for his predecessor.
Finally, the inclusion of women in the crisis-resolution process, specifically through the Network of Women Mediators that has been set up, is also an important element that will promote ongoing dialogue among local parties. To find a lasting solution in Guinea-Bissau, we need an inclusive process supported by all. Failure would be destabilizing, and we cannot permit that.