Wrap up of June 2015 at the Security Council - 30 June 2015 [fr]
Wrap up of the month - Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 30 June 2015
First, I would like to warmly thank Ambassador Dato Ramlan Bin Ibrahim and the entire Malaysian team for all the work accomplished in June. You, Sir, have managed the agenda of a very busy and productive month in New York outstandingly. In particular, I will remember the excellent debate organized on children in armed conflict, marked by the adoption of the important resolution 2225 (2015). We also had significant discussions on peacebuilding, in various formats, both formal and informal.
I would like first to touch upon two African questions. The first, that of Mali, is encouraging; the other, that of Burundi, continues to worry us.
June marked a historic step taken forward for Mali with the signing of the Bamako Peace Agreement by all concerned parties. The Council took note of that in the adoption of resolution 2227 (2015). That important resolution gives the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) a new mandate to support the implementation of the Peace Agreement in all its aspects, in particular security: and to support the cantonment, disarmament and reintegration of former combatants, and the redeployment of Malian armed forces in the north, in the framework of the mechanisms contained in the agreement.
The full and genuine implementation of the Agreement by its signatories will be key to guaranteeing peace and solidifying it. The Council made clear that it will closely follow the implementation of the Agreement and that those who would oppose its implementation will have to bear the consequences. Thus, by giving the Mission the task of supporting the Peace Agreement, the Security Council recalled the first duty of the Blue Helmets in Mali: helping Mali move towards a lasting peace, in support of the Ouagadougou Agreement during the establishment of MINUSMA and in support of the Bamako Agreement now.
While Mali has embarked on a positive momentum, that has not been the case in Burundi, which has entered a tense period since President Nkurunziza’s declaration of his candidacy for a third term. In its press release of 13 June, the African Union established a framework for a new dialogue to settle the political crisis in a long-lasting fashion. The press release called, in particular, for the electoral timetable to be agreed upon by the parties. It also set a number of conditions to be met before the holding of elections — such as the reopening of media outlets, the release of those arrested during protests and the disarmament of groups of young people affiliated in particular with political parties.
In several press releases, the international mediation team and the Secretary-General have indicated that they felt that conditions have not been met at this stage for the holding of free, credible, transparent and inclusive elections. They called for a further postponement of elections. That request we know was not accepted by the Government of Burundi, which cited constitutional constraints.
Unilaterally, the Government held communal and legislative elections yesterday, in a tense atmosphere. The opposition boycotted them. The strict control of dissenting neighbourhoods by the police since the beginning of June has curtailed demonstrations against a third term. The Government seems determined to hold presidential elections on 15 July and Pierre Nkurunziza remains determined to maintain his candidacy. The situation thus remains volatile and unpredictable. With the support of the Council, international mediation is continuing its efforts to find a common ground for presidential elections. We are launching a heartfelt appeal to all parties, in particular the Burundian authorities, to demonstrate a spirit of dialogue and compromise in the country’s higher interests.
Those two situations remind us how much the United Nations needs to improve its effectiveness in both prevention and crisis management. Specifically, the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, chaired by José Ramos-Horta, delivered its report to the Secretary-General on 17 June. The report contains around a hundred recommendations of all kinds: doctrinal ones dealing with political processes, the protection of civilians, the use of force, preventive diplomacy, for example; and recommendations on the functioning of peacekeeping operations, i.e. regarding chains of command, the engagement of troop-contributing countries, equipment, training, as well as on the internal organization of the Secretariat, in particular as pertains to strengthening analysis and planning or mainstreaming logistical support.
The report should now give rise to work on the part of the Secretary-General, who will propose an implementation report. That should be coordinated with Member States. The result will be presented at the next General Assembly, and the recommendations, addressed to the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop-contributing countries and all players in the peacekeeping arena, will, once approved, be gradually implemented thereafter. We have high expectations because through peacekeeping missions and their ability to adapt to changing conditions, the image of the United Nations, especially the relevance of the work of our Organization, are at stake.
I will conclude my statement by briefly touching on the Middle East. Consultations this month have once again revealed the need for specific initiatives for a resumption of the peace process. We cannot just limit ourselves to calling upon the parties to resume negotiations. In the light of the tensions and given the prospects of a two-State solution moving further away, France has proposed an international two-track approach.
The priority here is to create an international support group. Minister Fabius called it the “Quartet plus”, which would include, in addition to the current members, the permanent members of the Council and some countries in the region and the European Union. Next, we will have to work for the adoption of a resolution with parameters acceptable to all. A resolution will only be meaningful if it is based on consensus and would bring players to the negotiating table again. We will therefore work in New York and in the capitals to move forward on such an approach.
In Syria, the past weeks have seen the deadliest toll since the conflict began. The number of indiscriminate attacks against civilians has reached an all-time high. The regime has stepped up attacks with barrel bombs. At the same time, the Daesh and Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorist groups have continued their onward march and targeted civilians. Those attacks are intolerable and run counter to international humanitarian law and Security Council resolutions. Working with Spain, France has sought to highlight the suffering of civilians and undertake an approach to raise international awareness regarding the gravity of those atrocities. Over the month of July, we will be working with all delegations in the Council to create a course of action that will be effective in combating those indiscriminate attacks.
We have three priorities in Syria: seeking a political solution, protecting civilians and combating terrorism. We are convinced that those priorities are linked and are complementary. As Special Envoy de Mistura has recalled, ultimately, only a political solution will guarantee Syrians stability and security. And there can be no effective response to terrorism if we do not find a solution that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people, while sidestepping chaos. That is a very difficult path, but one that France finds it necessary to promote tirelessly.
We should not forget that this past month was darkened by heinous terrorist attacks hitting several countries, including France and several other members of the Security Council. Our determination to combat the scourges of terrorism and radicalism is total. More than ever, the unity of the Council is necessary to stop the fanatics.
Finally, I would like to thank the Malaysian presidency and wish every success to New Zealand, which can count on our full support.