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Official speeches and statements - September 9, 2021

Published on September 9, 2021

1. United Nations - United Nations Peacekeeping Operations - Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York,2021-09-08)

[translation from French]

Madam President,

I thank the Secretary-General, President Johnson Sirleaf and Ms. Safaa El Adam for their statements.

France supports the Secretary-General’s approach. The success of transitions depends on the ability of the actors to fulfill their responsibilities:

First of all, the host States must demonstrate the political will to fulfill their obligations. The protection of civilians, respect for human rights, the full participation of women and youth, and the re-establishment of state services are all essential. This is the challenge facing the Sudanese transitional authorities today, for example, with the support of UNITAMS.

For its part, the United Nations must take up the challenge of integration, between civilians and the military, between peacebuilding and peacekeeping, and between humanitarian and development actors. France welcomes the emphasis placed on this objective in the framework of the "Action for Peacekeeping" initiative and its A4P+ continuity strategy.

Finally, the Council has a responsibility of its own, which is to define strategic orientations sufficiently in advance, and to define clear mandates that take into account the reality on the ground. France is systematically working on this, for all mandates.

Our objective must be to avoid breaks in international support. In more than 70 years, the United Nations has set up 71 missions, 59 of which have now been completed. These past transitions offer some lessons:

It is important to work upstream on the conditions that will allow us to consider a withdrawal when the time comes. It is therefore necessary to insist in the mandates on support for the strengthening of state capacities, the restoration of basic services to the population, the reform of the security sector and the participation of all in the peace process. In Mali, for example, the participation of women in the implementation of the peace agreement has improved since this objective was included in the MINUSMA mandate.

It is also important to give to special political missions that take over from the PKOs the mandates and resources to effectively support the host state authorities. I am thinking, for example, of the establishment of BINUH in Haiti, which aims to coordinate the efforts of the international community and, in particular, to continue to support the police and justice system.

Finally, it is essential to accompany the withdrawal of peacekeeping operations with strengthened cooperation with United Nations agencies, funds and programs, including the Peacebuilding Fund. The model of liaison offices set up by UNAMID in Darfur is an example of flexibility, which should be continued after the withdrawal of the PKO.

France is convinced that transitions can only be successful through a partnership with regional and international actors. This is the approach we are pursuing in the Sahel, where the Sahel Coalition aims to respond to all dimensions of the crisis and to ensure that the efforts of the United Nations, the European Union and the countries of the region are complementary.

Regional engagement is also crucial in the Central African Republic, where the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region are playing a key role, alongside the United Nations, in supporting the implementation of the peace agreement.

Thank you.