Official speeches and statements - April 8, 2019
1. G7 Dinard-Saint-Malo - Foreign ministers meeting - Foreign ministers communiqué (Dinard - April 6, 2019)
1. We, the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, gathered in Dinard and Saint-Malo on April 5th and 6th to exchange views and coordinate action with respect to building a more peaceful, inclusive and secure world, and the goals articulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Bound together by respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law, we discussed issues related to global peace and security, in particular the behavior of state and non-state actors in cyberspace, peace operations in Africa, the full and effective participation of women in peace processes, and promoting the implementation of International Humanitarian Law. We reaffirmed our belief in open economies, open societies and open governments where diversity is respected and inclusion is valued and embraced. We recognize that gender equality is fundamental for political, economic and social progress. We recognize that inequalities represent a significant challenge to global stability and prosperity, to the cohesion of our societies and to our citizens’ trust in democratic institutions. This multifaceted phenomenon fuels the risk of destabilizing entire regions of the world, leading to increased tensions within these areas. We remain firmly committed to taking strong action and strengthening our cooperation to implement common policy solutions, with a view to addressing the root causes of these interconnected global challenges.
2. Throughout our discussions, we stressed the importance of protecting and promoting human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women, to sustainable peace and security. We recognized that to be effective and durable, initiatives addressing peace and security challenges need to ensure women’s equal and meaningful participation at all levels and at all stages of peace processes, address women’s and girls’ needs and respect their rights, security, and safety, and facilitate their access to the benefits of peace in line with UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and its follow-up resolutions. The G7 members are committed to implementing those resolutions and their respective National Action Plans on women, peace and security. We conveyed our support for the G7 Dinard Declaration on Women Peace and Security, and our commitment to supporting other governments in this regard such as through the G7 Women, Peace and Security Partnership Initiative and our resolute commitment to supporting survivors of sexual violence in conflict settings around the world, and welcome the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict international conference in London, 18-20 November. We underscored the strategic importance of enhancing the integration of a gender perspective into policies and initiatives, and we recognize the contributions of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council and civil society in this endeavor.
3. In addition to exchanging views and coordinating actions, as set out below, we endorsed the G7 Statement on Non-proliferation and Disarmament.
A rules-based international order
4. The G7 is united by its shared values and commitment to a rules-based international order. That order is being challenged by authoritarianism, rising inequalities, serious violations of human rights, restrictions on media freedom, and other continued violations of international law and norms. We are convinced that our societies and the world have reaped remarkable benefits from a global order based on rules and underscore that this system must have at its heart the principles of inclusion, democracy and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, diversity, and the rule of law.
5. The G7 reaffirms its support for the goals articulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and commits to continued leadership to support innovative financing approaches to achieve greater sustainable development outcomes and unlock resources. We stress the importance of the High Level Political Forum at Heads of States level in September 2019, which will provide the opportunity to reinvigorate the momentum towards implementation, and to demonstrate that multilateralism delivers benefits for citizens.
6. As members of the G7, we understand that our full and meaningful engagement with civil society is an essential pillar of these concepts. We are deeply committed to the values of respect and mutual understanding and are dedicated to the application of equality for every person, including women and children, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, and members of other minorities including religious minorities who are often marginalized in society.
7. We are also committed to the right to freedom of opinion and expression, which allows for the possibility of accessing free, plural and reliable information and which is constitutive of democracy, as well as to the protection of journalists, who face an increase in violence and intimidation in many countries. We welcome the initiative taken by leaders at the Paris Peace Forum on November 11th 2018 aiming at establishing an International Partnership for Information and Democracy and look forward to the launching of such Partnership. We also welcome the International Conference on Media Freedom in London on 10-11 July co-hosted by Canada and the United Kingdom, which will be an important moment to shine a spotlight on this crucial issue, and to mobilise a consensus behind the protection of journalists.
8. We are deeply concerned about resurgent forms of racism, and discrimination, including anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim sentiment and the targeting of Christian minorities, leading to violence worldwide. We will intensify individual and collective efforts to combat and counter such manifestations of hatred, while reaffirming our dedication to uphold the rights of all to manifest their religion or belief, in public, and in private, freely, and in peace and security. We denounce the ideologies, rhetoric, and actions of violent extremists, while advocating that the benefits of faith and inclusion should be recognized and leveraged as a strength for humanity.
9. We recognize the key role played by human rights defenders in protecting and promoting human rights and in strengthening the rule of law. We are concerned about the increasing level of harassment, intimidation and reprisals against them. We stress the importance for States to halt attacks on human rights defenders and to provide them with a safe space to carry out their work. We are also concerned that eroding respect for human rights, including targeted discrimination of women, in some parts of the world, risks undermining progress achieved in the past decades towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.
10. We are determined to work collaboratively to reinforce our democracies against malign behavior and hostile interference by state and non-state actors. Such efforts, undertaken through both traditional and digital means, seek to create chaos. We will continue to bolster our capabilities to address hybrid threats, including in the areas of cybersecurity, strategic communications and counter-intelligence. We support the ongoing work of the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism announced at the Charlevoix summit in 2018 to enable us to respond to these threats, including through sharing information and identifying opportunities for coordinated response, and welcome its Progress Report. We commend the efforts of non-governmental stakeholders, including civil society, academia, the private sector, and media organizations, to work to address malign behavior and foreign hostile interference in democratic systems. We will continue to work with stakeholders to strengthen democratic institutions processes and values, both at home and abroad, and particularly in vulnerable democracies.
11. Reinforcing trust, security and stability in cyberspace is critical in order to ensure that all actors can fully enjoy its benefits. We remain committed to promoting an accessible, open, interoperable, reliable, secure cyberspace for all, where international law is upheld, fundamental freedoms promoted and the same human rights that individuals have offline are also protected online. In this regard we recall our commitments of the G7 "Lucca Declaration on responsible States behavior in Cyberspace". We affirm our willingness to work together to promote the widespread acceptance and implementation of a strategic framework for conflict prevention, cooperation, and stability in cyberspace, consisting of the recognition of the applicability of existing international law to State behavior in cyberspace, the promotion of voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible State behavior in cyberspace during peacetime as well, as the development and implementation of practical cyber confidence-building measures between States. We condemn malicious cyber activities and reaffirm our commitment to increase cooperation to develop measures aimed at preventing, discouraging, countering and contesting such activities. We are particularly concerned by reports of state-sponsored worldwide long-term campaigns of computer intrusions targeting confidential business information and intellectual property for the purpose of commercial gain. We reaffirm our commitment to increase cooperation to develop measures aimed at preventing, discouraging and countering such activities. This will strengthen our collective resolve to deter malicious cyber actors. We underline the need to enhance cooperation, increase capacity building efforts by all actors and encourage initiatives that strengthen the security and resilience of digital, infrastructure, products, and services, including telecommunication networks. We concur in the importance of working with the private sector and civil society in addressing the challenges facing
us and welcome, in this regard, multi-stakeholder approaches, such as the Internet Governance Forum. We note the elements captured in the "Paris Call for trust and security and cyberspace," and the work by various stakeholders in these areas. We look forward to the resumption of UN discussions on cyber issues, and will work together to ensure both the UN Group of Governmental Experts and Open-Ended Working Group make constructive progress and work in a complementary fashion toward the universalization and full adoption of the strategic framework. We welcome the "Dinard Declaration on the Cyber Norm Initiative", underlining our commitment to sharing best practices and lessons learned on the implementation of voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible State behavior. We call on all partners to join us in this effort.
12. We also emphasize the importance of promoting and protecting the ability of all women and girls to exercise freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information of all kinds, through any media of their choice and commit to countering technology-facilitated harassment, violence and abuse. Various forms of sexual and gender based violence, abuse and harassment in digital contexts pose significant barriers to girls and women’s participation across social, political, economic and cultural spheres. Digital technologies can and should play a positive role in fostering gender equality and empowering women and girls.
13. We condemn the pervasive and egregious violations of international humanitarian law, notably - but not limited to - those occurring in protracted armed conflicts, including those involving attacks on civilians, civilian infrastructure, and humanitarian, medical and educational personnel and their facilities and assets, and the arbitrary denial of humanitarian relief to those in need. We are gravely concerned about violence against women and girls, sexual and gender-based violence, trafficking in persons, violations and abuses against children, including the unlawful use and recruitment of child soldiers, and attacks on schools and hospitals and their personnel. We underline the need for all parties to fully comply with international humanitarian law and to further protect those in situations of vulnerability, including women, children and persons with disabilities and other persons belonging to minorities who are marginalized or excluded in society. Recalling our Toronto commitment, we will continue to actively promote the implementation of international humanitarian law, including through exchanges of best practices and implementing measures. We will report back during forthcoming Foreign Ministers meetings. In addition, we remain concerned about the persistent gap between humanitarian needs and funding provided to humanitarian responses worldwide. We call on states, as well as the private sector and civil society, to increase humanitarian contributions to collectively contribute to effective global humanitarian response efforts.
14. We reiterate our commitment to promoting cooperative, international oceans and seas governance and to maintaining a rules-based maritime order based on international law. We emphasize the universal and unified character of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and reaffirm UNCLOS’ important role in setting out the legal framework that governs all activities in the oceans and seas. We stress the need for all States to act in good faith, to build trust and ensure security on oceans and seas, and to commit to the peaceful management and settlement of disputes without using the threat of force or coercion and in accordance with international law, including through internationally recognized legal dispute settlement mechanisms, including arbitration. We reiterate our commitment to the freedom of the high seas, including the freedom of navigation and overflight, and to other rights and freedoms, including the rights and jurisdiction of coastal states and other internationally lawful uses of the seas. In this context, we stress the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region based on the rule of law through promoting a wide range of activities to advance towards that goal, and express our intention to work together with ASEAN and other countries in this endeavor.
15. We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China seas. We reiterate our strong opposition to any unilateral actions that escalate tensions and undermine regional stability and the international rules-based maritime order, such as the threat or use of force, large-scale land reclamation and development of outposts, as well as their use for military purposes. Reiterating the universal and unified character of UNCLOS and reaffirming UNCLOS’ important role in setting out the legal framework that governs all activities in the oceans and seas, and we urge all parties to comply with their obligations under international law, including as reflected in UNCLOS, including the respect of freedom of navigation and overflight and other internationally lawful uses of the sea, and call for the full and effective implementation of the commitments in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in their entirety. We emphasize the importance of ongoing negotiations for an effective Code of Conduct that does not prejudice the interests of third parties or the rights and freedoms of all states under international law, is consistent with UNCLOS, and is open to cooperation with non-parties. We also urge parties to pursue demilitarization of disputed features in order to secure regional stability and thus to enable States to exercise their rights consistent with international law. We consider the July 12, 2016, award rendered by the Arbitral Tribunal under the UNCLOS as a significant milestone and a useful basis for peacefully resolving disputes in the South China Sea. We reiterate our concern regarding the destruction of marine ecosystems in the South China Sea, which threatens their sustainability and regional fish stocks, and reaffirm our commitment to increasing international cooperation to enhance protection of the marine environment. We reaffirm our commitment to further international cooperation on maritime security and safety, as well as the protection and sustainable management of the marine environment.
16. We reiterate our commitment to combatting illicit activities at sea, including acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, transnational organized crime and terrorism in the maritime domain, trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, trafficking of weapons and illicit drugs, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. We commend the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, the Djibouti Code of Conduct States, the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea Group, and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia for their work in reducing illegal maritime activity and working toward more effective maritime governance, law enforcement capacity and regional cooperation in the maritime domain. We applaud progress on operationalization of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct and encourage further progress in advancing nationally and regionally led efforts to tackle maritime security challenges in Africa. We are committed to supporting regional maritime security in regions affected by illegal maritime activities through comprehensive capacity building assistance under existing instruments in areas such as maritime governance, coast guard authorities and functions, disaster relief, maritime search and rescue, and maritime information sharing and integration, including maritime domain awareness. We encourage regional organizations to pursue the operationalization of appropriate cooperation arrangements reinforcing security at sea. Affirming the application of international law, we recognize the importance of reviewing and, where necessary, strengthening national legal frameworks to protect the critical infrastructure of subsea cables and improve national resilience, working with industry to establish standards and best practices.
17. We recognize that forced displacement and migration are a challenge to be addressed through national action and appropriate international cooperation, including with countries of origin, transit and destination. Each state maintains the sovereign right to manage and control its borders and to establish and enforce its own immigration laws, subject to national law and international obligations. Coordinated efforts are required for fighting against migrant smuggling and human trafficking. We stress the need to work together to protect human rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, including those in the most vulnerable situations, in accordance with international obligations. We acknowledge that well managed migration, consistent with national law and international obligations, can have benefits for all.
18. We commit to take concerted action to implement the joint commitments of the G7 foreign and security ministers made in Toronto to eliminate the scourge of trafficking in persons, including by focusing on prevention, identifying and providing assistance to its victims, disrupting and prosecuting human traffickers and migrant smugglers, preventing human trafficking in global supply chains, including in public procurement, and providing protection for those fleeing torture and persecution, in accordance with our international obligations and applicable domestic laws.
19. Given the increasing importance of Space to global prosperity and our security, and recognising recent scientific and technological developments, we encourage the recognition and development of norms of behaviour, as well as cooperation for addressing the issue of space debris.
Regional crisis and threats
20. We also discussed a number of regional and country situations. In Libya, we welcome the stabilization and reconciliation efforts of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Libya, and strongly support the UN-led Action Plan presented in September 2017 and recalibrated in November 2018 to hold a national conference and prepare the ground for successful national elections as agreed in the 2018 Paris and Palermo conferences. In this respect, we welcome the announcement by the SRSG that the National Conference should take place from 14th to 16th April inside Libya. We call on all Libyan actors to rally toward this goal by showing restraint and willingness to compromise and by putting the interests of the Libyan people first. We recall that Libya’s oil facilities, production, and revenues belong to the Libyan people, and must not be used by any party for political gain.We reaffirm that there is no military solution to the conflict in Libya. We reiterate our deepest concern about military operations in the West of Libya as expressed in our joint statement of April 5th. We call on all Libyan parties to facilitate the timely implementation of the UN Action Plan. We reiterate the need for the international community, regional partners, and multilateral organizations to continue supporting the UN’s efforts toward an inclusive Libyan-owned solution. Such efforts should contribute to a stable, peaceful, secure, democratic, and united Libya with strong national governmental institutions able to provide security and basic services to Libyans, carry out economic reforms, end conflict among Libyan groups, partner with the international community to fight and expel Daesh, other UN listed terrorist groups, as well as foreign mercenary groups and address migration challenges, notably by countering migrant smuggling and human trafficking providing all that is necessary to better control and manage the borders, as well as improving the protection of migrants and refugees, including by overcoming the current system of detention centres.
21. We recognize the considerable achievements of the Deauville Partnership since it was established in 2011. We welcome the transition from the Deauville Partnership towards a G7 Local Coordination Mechanism, which will support continued dialogue on economic and governance challenges in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. We invite G7 and EU Heads of Mission in the region to sustain a regular high-level dialogue with national authorities, to continue supporting partners in the MENA region in facing the challenges ahead, and invite International Organizations, the private sector and civil society to play a prominent role in this endeavor.
22. We are deeply concerned about the continuing violence, the risks of a renewed escalation, and the continued oppression of its people by its own government, as well as, its deliberate obstruction of regular and sustained humanitarian access in Syria We reaffirm that there is no military solution to this crisis and no alternative to a negotiated political resolution on the basis of UNSCR 2254 and the Geneva Communiqué. We therefore note with mounting concern the escalation in Syrian military activity in the de-escalation zone in Idlib over recent weeks, and the casualties that have resulted, despite the ceasefire agreement of September 2018.We reiterate in this regard our strong support for the work of the UN Special Envoy for Syria. We welcome the results of the third conference on "Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region", which took place in Brussels on March 12-14, 2019 to support the political process, address the significant humanitarian and resilience needs in Syria and in the region. We urge the international community to make concerted diplomatic efforts to reach an inclusive political settlement of the Syrian conflict that would alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, put an end to terrorism, protect all components of Syrian society, and secure a withdrawal of foreign forces that pose a threat to the security of the region. This effort should aim at serious reforms in Syria which will permit an environment conducive for a safe, voluntary, and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees. It should pave the way for free and fair elections under UN supervision, ensuring the participation of all Syrians, and supporting women’s participation in this process. Only when a credible political process is firmly under way would we be ready to assist with the reconstruction of Syria. In the meantime, we urge the regime and its backers to provide the highest level of protection for civilians and to ensure immediate, safe, sustained and unhindered humanitarian access on the ground, in accordance with humanitarian principles. We are firmly committed to accountability for those responsible for the use of chemical weapons and violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as applicable, and pledge support for the work of appropriate international criminal justice and investigative mechanisms and transitional justice mechanisms.
23. We express our commitment to a long-term partnership with Iraq, founded on the basis of shared economic, diplomatic, cultural and security cooperation. We stress the importance of supporting and strengthening Iraq’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity recognize the importance of promoting reconciliation amongst all communities in Iraq building on the bond of a common national identity and inclusive citizenship. We continue our support to the efforts of the Iraqi authorities, the UN and the Global Coalition against Daesh to restore security, stability and basic services in liberated areas and provide assistance to internally displaced persons so that they can integrate locally or return to their homes in a safe, dignified and voluntary manner. We commend the work of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), and UN efforts to promote and support inclusive governance. We continue to support the fight against the ongoing terror threat from Daesh. We will continue to support the work of the UN Investigative Team for the Accountability of Daesh, in cooperation with the Government of Iraq, to ensure evidence of Daesh crimes is safely collected and that justice is served to the victims of Daesh. We commend Iraq’s parliamentary elections of May 12, 2018 and congratulate the new Iraqi authorities: we encourage Iraq to complete the formation of its government with the aim of answering the needs of all Iraqis, including maintaining security and combatting terrorism. We support the outcomes of the February 2018 Kuwait conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq and call for their quick implementation. We encourage Iraq to ensure that its new National Action Plan on women, peace and security is fully budgeted and implemented at national and provincial levels. We welcome the recent progress made by the Government of Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government in developing a positive working relationship, welcome the recent elections in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, and hope to see the completion of Government formation soon both in Erbil and Baghdad.
24. We welcome the agreements reached by the Government of Yemen and the Houthis in December 2018, endorsed by UN Security Council resolution 2451, as well as the creation of the United Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement decided by the UN Security Council in resolution 2452, and reiterate the critical importance of the parties fulfilling their commitments in a timely manner. Reaffirming our full support for the efforts of the UN Special Envoy, we call on all parties to engage constructively with him to immediately implement agreed upon security measures in Hodeidah, and reach an inclusive and sustainable political settlement to end the conflict. We reaffirm our commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen and express our concern at the increasing fragmentation of the country, which creates the space for terrorist organizations to thrive. We reiterate our grave concern at the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation. We renew our call for all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and to fully comply with international humanitarian law and human rights law, as applicable, including with respect to the principles of proportionality and distinction, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid and commercial supplies to all ports of entry and to all regions of the country. We further call on all regional states to support the implementation of the targeted UN arms embargo and condemn any violations of that embargo. We applaud the result of the recent High-Level Pledging Event on Yemen in Geneva and call on all donors to fully fund the Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen for 2019.
25. We are deeply concerned by Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, including its continuing support for terrorist organizations and armed militias. We call on Iran to contribute more actively to reducing tensions in Yemen, to halt its military, financial and political support to certain non-state actors in countries such as Lebanon and Syria, to implement all relevant UNSCRs, and to prevent all forms of direct or indirect proliferation of ballistic expertise, drones and missile capabilities. We urge Iran to refrain from any action that could harm regional security and to contribute to efforts to achieve peaceful political solutions. We further call on Iran to implement the relevant international treaties to which it is a party and to fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
26. We had an exchange of views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and there were clear differences. We remain united in our belief that this conflict has gone on for too long. We support the resumption of substantive peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians aimed at achieving a negotiated solution that ensures the peace and security of both parties. In this framework, regional stakeholders can play a pivotal role in the pursuit of peace and actively support the parties in maintaining the conditions for meaningful negotiations. We strongly condemn repeated incitements to acts of violence and terrorism. We stress the importance of addressing the dire and deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip. We note the continued support of many members of the international community for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
27. We recognize the link between peace and security, economic growth and development, and the respect of human rights and good governance in Africa. We therefore reiterate our commitment to invest in our bilateral and multilateral partnerships with African countries to support peace and sustainable economic development across Africa based on African ownership and implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and AU agenda 2063. In this vein, we are looking forward to the Biarritz summit and a fruitful dialogue with African partners around a common agenda. We will work towards progress in the implementation of commitments made in the context of our bilateral and multilateral partnerships with Africa, such as expressed at the AU-EU-Summit in Abidjan, the G20-Compact with Africa initiative and the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
28. We commend the action of the MINUSMA in supporting the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali and acknowledge its work in support of the counter-terrorism mandates of the other international forces active in the region. We take positive note of some progress in implementing this agreement in Mali and emphasize the need for all signatories to rapidly pursue efforts towards full implementation. We welcome the efforts made in the operationalization of the G5 Sahel Joint Force and continue to support the efforts of the G5 Sahel states in improving regional cooperation not only in the fight against terrorism but also in advancing regional stability and development. We welcome the operations conducted by the Joint Force that have restarted since the terrorist attack against its HQ in Sevare in July 2018. On top of the support to the G5 Sahel Joint Force, we will continue to support defense and security capacities of the states in the region. We underscore the need for the G5 to respect human rights in all its activities. We are concerned by the situation in Burkina Faso and the Lake Chad Region, especially the deterioration in North East Nigeria. We reiterate our commitment to support Member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the Multi-National Joint Task Force in their fight against Boko Haram and Daesh-West Africa. In that regard, we welcome the stabilization strategy of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the support given by the international community as agreed in the International Conference on Lake Chad Region in Berlin in September 2018 when 2.14 billion USD in pledges were announced. We call upon the international community to increase its support for the Multinational Joint Task Force and its Member States, and urge them to strengthen their military, police and stabilization efforts to counter Daesh-West Africa and restore security, governance, and local economies. We call for continued efforts from all relevant partners in the fight against transnational crime that fuels instability and against the financing of terrorism. We welcome the efforts by some G7 member states to better coordinate and accelerate the implementation of development assistance, including through in the framework of the Sahel Alliance, which provides euro9 billion and develops more than 600 projects in key sectors such as youth education, agriculture and access to basic services. We stress the need to invest in youth and employment in rural areas, notably through enhancing the resilience of countries and communities in the region. We acknowledge the need for a stronger framework for mutual accountability, and in so doing enhance the linkages between security and development by the G5 (and other Governments in the region) and development partners.
29. Considering the strategic role of the Horn of Africa and the importance of its stability for peace in the whole continent and both in the Middle-East and the Western Indian Ocean, we welcome the new dynamics in this region, and the improvement of relations between Ethiopia and the states in the Horn. We encourage the continued progress on reforms in Ethiopia and the implementation of the peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as the dialogue between Eritrea and Djibouti in view of the normalization of their bilateral relations. This new positive dynamic should be encouraged and supported, so as to foster social and economic growth in the Region and well as a deeper integration among the Countries of the Horn. We note the role of multilateral financial institutions and the international community in this regard.
30. We also support a phased and conditions-based transition of security responsibilities from the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to Somali security forces with clear target dates, and we stress the need to identify sustainable and complementary sources of funding for AMISOM. We encourage dialogue between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States, emphasizing that there cannot be progress on long-term security without agreement on Somalia’s political settlement. We also encourage cooperation between the Federal Government of Somalia, the UN and its international partners on the basis of mutual commitments and trust.
31. In South Sudan, we welcome progress being made in the peace process and note the signing of the revitalized Agreement on the resolution of the conflict (R-ARCSS). Further steps need to be taken by all the stakeholders in order to make sure the comprehensive peace plan will be fully implemented in a way that leads to lasting peace. We recognize the critical role of the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in ensuring the protection of civilians, supporting humanitarian needs, and the implementation of the peace agreement. We remain deeply concerned about of the persistent levels of gender-based violence, conflict-related sexual violence, and other human rights violations and abuses. We also invite all the regional organizations and powers, and especially Uganda and Sudan as guarantors of a peace agreement, to continue supporting the peace process and implementation of UN sanctions and arms embargo.
32. We are deeply concerned about the declaration of a National State of Emergency in Sudan, and appalled by the loss of life related to the Government of Sudan response to protests in Sudan. Recalling the importance of freedoms of peaceful assembly, association and expression in accordance with international law, we call upon the Government of Sudan to respect the constitution, exercise restraint, abstain from violence and engage with the legitimate demands of protesters.
33. We welcome the peace agreement signed in Bangui on 6 February between the government of the Central African Republic and the armed groups within the framework of the AU’s African Roadmap for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic. It provides for the nomination of an inclusive government, decentralization and reestablishment of the State authority throughout the territory, mechanisms of transitional justice, the demobilization of armed groups and their participation to the DDRR process. This agreement constitutes a major step towards peace and stability in CAR. We commend the work of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), and in particular mission efforts to ensure the protection of civilians, support the implementation of the peace process, facilitate humanitarian access, and support the rule of law. We call on all the regional stakeholders and international partners of CAR to support the swift and effective implementation of the peace agreement.
34. In December 2018, the elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo allowed the Congolese people to express forcefully and calmly their desire for change. Yet, we note doubts regarding the transparency of the electoral process. We expect that the aspirations of the Congolese people expressed during the electoral campaign will be met through the implementation of the ambitious road map set out by President Tshisekedi and with the engagement of an inclusive government. We continue to encourage, in collaboration with regional actors, the Congolese authorities’ to strengthen their efforts for the consolidation of peace, stability and development in the DRC, including measures to address gender-based violence. We also recognize the critical role of the UN mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) in ensuring the protection of civilians, and supporting the Government of the DRC in its stabilization and peace consolidation efforts.We remain gravely concerned by the situation of insecurity and violence prevailing in the Eastern part of the DRC due to the continuing conflict between armed groups. We are further concerned by the Ebola outbreak in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces.
35. In Zimbabwe, we were very concerned by the disproportionate use of force by security forces in response to protests over fuel prices in January, including reports of use of live ammunition on protestors, widespread arrests, and physical and sexual assaults on civilians. We call on the Government of Zimbabwe to quickly and credibly investigate all allegations of human rights violations. We welcome President Mnangagwa’s commitments to political and economic reform and encourage him to swiftly implement them.
36. In line with the Action for Peacekeeping initiative and the Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations, we welcome the efforts and ambition of the African Union to take greater ownership over issues of peace and security on their continent, and in this context note the adoption on 27 February of UNSCR 2457 relating to Silencing The Guns in Africa by 2020. We commend and encourage the African Union’s efforts to establish efficient and effective peace support operations that can be deployed quickly and conduct peace enforcement operations, such as operations for the restoration of state authority or counter-terrorism operations, and can be authorized, on a case by case basis, to implement a clear and focused offensive mandate with a limited duration in time and an exit strategy defined from the outset, under effective management and oversight.
37. We are concerned by the continued threats to the stability of Afghanistan and its neighbourhood. We continue to support preparations for a presidential election in September of this year. We reiterate our commitment to a political and negotiated solution for Afghanistan, as part of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned inclusive process supported by all key regional and international stakeholders. The meaningful inclusion of women in state institutions as well as all peace negotiations is essential for ensuring a sustainable political settlement. We will respect and support any peace agreement between the Afghan parties to the conflict that ends violence, cuts ties to transnational terrorism, and protects the rights of all citizens of Afghanistan, notably women and minorities, enshrined in the Afghan constitution. We welcome and support the Afghan government’s initiatives, including its comprehensive offer for unconditional peace talks with the Taliban, announced by President Ghani at the second conference of the Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation. We urge the Taliban to take the current opportunity for peace by engaging directly with the Government of Afghanistan. We are encouraged by the efforts US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Khalilzad and by other initiatives of the UN and regional stakeholders that aim at promoting dialogue among conflicting factions and peace for Afghanistan. We remain committed to supporting inclusive peace, stability and economic development in Afghanistan during a peace process and after a peace agreement.
38. It is urgent to restore full respect for the democratic and constitutional order in Venezuela and to protect the rights of Venezuelans. We condemn the lack of respect for basic democratic principles in Venezuela and the illegitimacy of the 2018 presidential election process and its results. We therefore call for a peaceful, democratic transition in accordance with the articles of the Venezuelan Constitution. We call for new free, transparent and credible presidential elections to be held on an urgent basis as soon as arrangements can be put in place to ensure they will be in accordance with internationally accepted democratic standards. We are deeply concerned by the many credible reports of serious human rights abuses, and by the growing economic crisis and its humanitarian repercussions. We take note of the deteriorating infrastructure in the country, exemplified by ongoing intermittent nation-wide power outages since the beginning of March that continue to affect some parts of the country. The inadequate access to basic services is further aggravating the suffering of Venezuelans and has caused several deaths. These conditions are severely affecting the population, particularly the elderly, women and children who are in situations of great vulnerability, resulting in large waves of people fleeing Venezuela to other countries in the region. We call for urgent humanitarian access to the country to be provided in accordance with international humanitarian principles to help address the basic needs of crisis-affected people. We are alarmed by the deployment of Russian military forces which threatens to exacerbate the already dangerous situation. We also call upon the international community to collectively take a strong, principled stance to help the Venezuelan people achieve a peaceful, democratic and sustainable solution to the worsening crisis.
39. We are deeply concerned about the political situation in Nicaragua and the ongoing violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which are forcing many Nicaraguans to flee to neighbouring countries. We encourage the government of Nicaragua to advance a good-faith and inclusive national dialogue with all the involved parties, supported by the International Community, in order to find an end to the current situation.
40. We are concerned about the continued civil unrest in Haiti and the suffering of the Haitian people. We call on the Haitian authorities to engage in a constructive and inclusive dialogue, aimed at implementing durable solutions to the root problems that affect the country.
41. We remain committed to supporting lasting peace and democratic transition in Myanmar, promoting accountability for the human rights violations and abuses committed in Myanmar, particularly in northern Rakhine but also in Kachin and Shan States. We recognize the importance of coordinating our efforts both internationally through the UN system, and regionally through important organizations such as ASEAN, both of which play an important role in achieving these goals. We express serious concern about the recent escalation of violence in Rakhine State between the Myanmar armed forces and the Arakan Army and call for the Myanmar authorities to allow full access for humanitarian agencies. We call on all parties to show restraint and to guarantee the protection of the local population. We encourage the Myanmar armed forces to honour their welcome commitment to a ceasefire, notably for Kachin, and Shan States, encourage all parties to reduce tensions on the ground, and urge that the ceasefire be extended beyond four months so that it can lead to a safe and voluntary return of IDPs, and becomes a permanent agreement. Important progress is needed for creating conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees and displaced persons. We call on the Myanmar authorities to immediately allow for full and unhindered access by humanitarian organizations to all affected communities, as well as unimpeded access for UN and international organizations to monitor returns, as per the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in June 2018. We also call on the Myanmar authorities to implement the recommendations of the Kofi Annan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State without delay and to effectively implement their Joint Communique with the UN to address conflict-related sexual violence in Myanmar. We stress the importance of establishing a clear pathway toward accountability for the atrocities committed in Rakhine State and call on the Myanmar authorities to demonstrate the independence and credibility of the Independent Commission of Enquiry, and to cooperate fully with the relevant UN mechanism for accountability. We welcome the work of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General and encourage her to pursue her dialogue with the Myanmar authorities on concrete and measurable progress, involving all stakeholders. We welcome the mobilization of the
ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA) and encourage a close coordination with all UN agencies in Myanmar, including UNHCR who can offer expertise and experience. Recognizing the burden on Bangladesh and welcoming its response to date, we encourage the Government of Bangladesh to continue to offer support to refugees and the communities that host them, and call on the international community to provide assistance. We are deeply concerned by the arrests and imprisonment of journalists. Journalists must be allowed to work freely and without fear of intimidation. Press freedom and the rule of law are fundamental to any democratic society.
42. We reaffirm our shared commitment to the security, stability, prosperity and European Union perspective of the six Western Balkans partners. To this end, we emphasize the importance of advancing the necessary internal reforms, in particular on rule of law. We commend the governments of Greece and North Macedonia for concluding the Prespa agreement, which sets an example of reconciliation for the region. Without effective and comprehensive normalization of Belgrade-Pristina relations through the EU-facilitated Dialogue there cannot be lasting stability in the region. We urge Kosovo and Serbia to engage constructively and normalize fully their relations through a comprehensive and legally-binding agreement, so that they can advance on their respective European paths.
43. We reiterate our enduring support for Ukrainian sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. This includes our non-recognition of Russia’s claim to have annexed Crimea. Russia’s actions constitute a violation of international law. We express our utmost concern about Russia’s actions against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait and surrounding waters, which have dangerously raised tensions. There is no justification for Russia’s use of military force against Ukrainian ships and naval personnel. We urge restraint, due respect for international law, and the prevention of any further escalation. We call on Russia to release the detained crew and vessels and refrain from impeding lawful passage through the Kerch Strait. We continue to deplore the deteriorated human rights situation in the Crimean peninsula. Expressing our utmost concern at the challenging security and humanitarian situation that has prevailed in Eastern Ukraine for nearly five years, we fully support the efforts within the Normandy format and of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for a solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We are convinced that the only way to reach a peaceful and sustainable solution to the conflict is through the full implementation by the sides of their commitments under the Minsk agreements with the aim of restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Russia, undeniably involved through proxies it backs, has a key responsibility. We recall that the duration of economic sanctions is entirely linked to Russia’s complete implementation of its commitments under the Minsk agreements. These sanctions can only be rolled back if Russia truly fulfills these commitments, but we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures should Russia’s actions so require.
44. We reconfirm our support for Ukraine’s reform and are encouraged by steps taken to date, especially in the areas of decentralization and economic growth. We urge the Government of Ukraine to make continued, clear progress along the reform path on which it has embarked and which its people demand and welcome the Ukraine Reform Conference taking place in Toronto 2nd to 4th of July 2019. We reiterate our full confidence in the G7 Ambassadors Group in Ukraine and acknowledge the role of this group in monitoring and supporting the implementation of reforms. We fully endorse the key priorities for 2019 drafted by this group, including building the capacity and credibility of national anticorruption institutions, the reform of the General Prosecutor’s office, the implementation of the Law on National Security and the Law on privatization, reinforcing the independence of the Central Electoral Commission, as well as healthcare and energy reforms, notably completing the unbundling in the gas and electricity sectors. We also encourage the Ukrainian authorities to follow up on their commitments in the field of the fight against corruption, strengthening the rule of law and protecting freedom of media and civil society. We also expect the Ukrainian authorities to ensure a fair, free, transparent and inclusive vote throughout the elections.
45. We are committed to protecting and promoting the rules-based international order. This stands against the background of a pattern of irresponsible destabilizing and malign Russian behaviour, including interference in other countries’ democratic systems. We urge Russia to live up to its international obligations, as well as its responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), to uphold international peace and security and respect territorial arms embargoes. We will continue to bolster our capabilities to address other threats from Russia in the areas of cybersecurity, strategic communications and counter-intelligence. We welcome action taken to constrain Russian hostile intelligence-driven activity and to enhance our collective security. Notwithstanding, we will continue to engage with Russia on addressing regional crises and global challenges. We are increasingly concerned about the grave situation of human rights in Russia, and will continue to stand in solidarity with human rights defenders. We are committed to engage with members of civil society and in people-to-people contact.
46. We remain gravely concerned about the documented accounts of human rights violations and abuses in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). We urge the DPRK to respect the human rights of all its people and to cooperate with all relevant UN bodies, including special procedures and the UN Special Representatives of the Secretary-General on Food Security and Nutrition, and resolve the abductions issue immediately. We remain deeply preoccupied by the precarious humanitarian situation in the country, which is the result of the DPRK’s regime choice to prioritize its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs over the welfare of its own people, and stress the need to prioritize access to food, clean water and medical care. We thus reiterate that humanitarian aid should be delivered in accordance with UNSC resolutions and humanitarian principles
47. We encourage China to participate responsibly in the free and open international rules-based system and note its capacity to make important contributions to global public goods and international security, such as environmental protection and peacekeeping. We would welcome China’s full cooperation to resolve the challenges to regional and global peace and prosperity, notably on the Korean Peninsula as well as on WTO reform. We are deeply concerned by recent arbitrary actions of Chinese authorities, including the arbitrary detention and sentencing of foreign citizens. We also emphasize the need for China to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the immunities provided for in Article 39.2. We also stress the need for respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. We are concerned about the situation in Xinjiang, the existence of a large scale network of internment camps, the lack of fundamental rights and freedoms, especially for members of ethnic minorities and some religious groups in China, and the situation in Tibet. We are also concerned about the lack of rule of law and fair trial guarantees, arbitrary detentions, harassment and reported cases of mistreatment and torture of human rights defenders and their families. We underscore the need to take into consideration the detrimental humanitarian situation in the DPRK when dealing with asylum seekers, including abstaining from forcibly repatriating asylum seekers to the DPRK and allowing safe passage for DPRK asylum seekers transiting through China. We share concerns around China’s industrial strategy, investment practices, inadequate intellectual property protection and restrictions on foreign direct investment, technology licensing and a range of administrative regulations and informal practices, which create challenges for foreign businesses. We encourage China to uphold its commitments not to engage in malicious cyber activity, including cyber-enabled intellectual property theft with the intent of providing advantages, including to commercial sectors.
48. We are concerned by recent heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. We welcome that both countries publicly expressed their wish not to escalate tensions further. We encourage Pakistan to further take immediate, visible and sustained action against terrorist groups, including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), to demonstrate its commitment to tackling terrorism. We are working to ensure that those who committed the attack in Pulwama are held accountable. We support, and will continue to pursue, the UN listing of JeM leader, Masood Azhar, as part of international efforts to tackle terrorism.
Non-proliferation and disarmament
49. We are committed to working together and with our partners to promote international peace and security, and to create the environment for a more secure, stable and safe world. The international security environment continues to present significant challenges which impact on the areas of non-proliferation and disarmament.
50. We condemn in the strongest possible terms any attempts to challenge the rules-based international order in dangerous and destabilizing ways. It is essential that we, together with the broader international community, adopt coordinated approaches to prevent the production use and spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery, and reaffirm the importance of non-proliferation norms.
51. We encourage the DPRK to avoid any provocations and call for the DPRK to continue discussions with the United States on denuclearization. We remain committed to the goal of achieving complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all of the DPRK’s weapons of mass destruction and related delivery system programs, including biological and chemical weapons, ballistic missiles of all ranges as well as related programs and facilities, for the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and beyond. We welcome the readiness of the USA to continue their efforts in that regard, as evidenced at the February 27th-28th US DPRK Summit in Vietnam, and stand ready to support these efforts. We regret that the DPRK has not taken concrete, verified actions towards denuclearization, and we urge the DPRK to comply with and fulfill its international obligations, and undertake those actions. We call on the DPRK to return at an early date to the NPT, and to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards Agreement and to join the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). We are committed to maintaining maximum pressure and we continue to support the current sanctions regime until the DPRK’s denuclearization. We further commit to countering the DPRK’s sanctions-evasion tactics, particularly through its illicit maritime activities, including prohibited ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum and sales of coal and other UN-banned commodities, as well as its malicious cyber activities. To this end, we call on all states to fully implement relevant UNSCRs, including UNSCR 2397. We remind all states of their obligations to repatriate DPRK overseas laborers earning income no later than December 2019. We note with urgent concern that some countries still fail to implement these resolutions, as documented in the latest report of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to UNSCR 1874. We intend to continue our coordination on capacity building, counter-proliferation and proliferation financing.
52. We are committed to permanently denying Iran all pathways to a nuclear weapon and to ensuring Iran upholds its obligations and international commitments, including under the NPT, and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, in particular the Additional Protocol. We strongly support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its crucial monitoring and verification work to help ensure Iran’s compliance with NPT-related safeguards obligations, as well as its other commitments. We call on UN member states to make voluntary contributions to the IAEA to ensure it has the resources necessary to fulfill this vital role.
53. We are deeply concerned by Iran’s ballistic missile activities, which are inconsistent with UN Security Council resolutions and which contribute to increased tensions and instability in the region. We call upon Iran to immediately cease activities related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology. We further call upon Iran to immediately cease its unlawful transfers of ballistic missile technology to states and non-state actors. We intend to continue to our work to counter Iran’s regional proliferation of ballistic missiles and its unlawful arms transfers.
54. We underline the essential role of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses. As we prepare to mark the Treaty’s 50th anniversary, we recall its undeniable success in limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and in advancing disarmament, while facilitating the widespread sharing of the benefits of the peaceful applications of nuclear technologies, and we reaffirm our commitment to work toward a successful outcome at the 2020 Review Conference. We underline the enduring value of all the commitments States have undertaken in the NPT. Notwithstanding the constraints of the current international security environment, we remain strongly committed to the goal of ultimately achieving a world without nuclear weapons, to be pursued through practical and concrete steps, notably under the NPT, including its Article VI, in accordance with the principle of undiminished security for all. We advocate for the implementation of the highest standards of nuclear safety, security, and safeguards in order to ensure the sustainability of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under the NPT.
55. Efforts towards strategic risk reduction constitute important contributions to regional and international security. In particular, transparency and dialogue on nuclear doctrines and postures, military to military dialogues, hotline agreements among nuclear weapon possessors, "accident measure" agreements, transparency and notification exercises as well as missile launch notification and other data exchange agreements constitute important elements of strategic risk reduction and can help avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation. The G7 NPDG will continue to seek ways to improve and spread the understanding of strategic risk reduction measures, including in view of the 2020 NPT Review Conference.
56. The members of the G7 have a history of engagement against the proliferation of missiles, and were instrumental in the creation of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 1987. We are deeply concerned by the acceleration in recent years of the spread of destabilising sophisticated missile technologies, including technologies related to short, medium, intermediate and intercontinental ballistic missiles. We reaffirm our commitment to all relevant UN Security Council resolutions and to multilateral instruments such as the MTCR, the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation and the Proliferation Security Initiative. Conscious of our specific responsibilities, we have agreed to a G7 Declaration on the Countering of Illicit and / or Destabilising Missile Activities to promote exchanges of information, foster awareness-raising and reinforce cooperation in order to counter the destabilising spread of these technologies and improve the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on missiles, including missile launches and illicit transfers. In this context, we reaffirm our determination to ensure that all states under UNSC restrictions, including DPRK and Iran, remain accountable to their respective international obligations.
57. We share the concerns which led the U.S. to judge that Russia is in material breach of the Treaty for having tested and fielded the intermediate-range SSC-8 ground-launched cruise missile, to decide to suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty, and to provide the requisite six-month written notice to Treaty Parties of withdrawal under Article XV of the Treaty. We urge Russia to return to full and verifiable compliance with its obligations under the Treaty, prior to the U.S. withdrawal taking effect, in order to preserve the Treaty. We recognize that Russia’s failure to do so will result in the end of the treaty. We agree that we need to remain vigilant to the security implications of Russia’s development and deployment of INF-noncompliant missiles and respond accordingly.
58. Recalling that we are facing a critical situation because of the recent re-emergence of the use of chemical weapons by state and non-state actors, we remain concerned by chemical weapons use, and note in particular the horrific incidents, especially attacks in Syria, Iraq, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom. We reiterate our joint statement of April 16, 2018 condemning the Salisbury chemical weapons attack. We are determined to combat this common threat to our security. We emphasize that any use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anyone, under any circumstances is unacceptable. We express the strong conviction that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons should be held accountable. Impunity for the use of chemical weapons can never be tolerated. To this end, we strongly support the work of the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons launched in January 2018.
59. We strongly support measures adopted during the special session of the Conference of the States Party to the CWC, in June 2018, aimed at reinforcing the implementation of the CWC, including establishing arrangements to attribute responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria and upon the request of States Party Parties more widely. We reaffirm our utmost support for the new Investigation and Identification Team, and we encourage the OPCW to further engage with all States Party in building capacities to prevent chemical weapons use or proliferation. We welcome the OPCW Executive Council’s decision recommending adoption of the proposal jointly submitted by the United States of America, Canada, and the Netherlands to add two families of toxic chemicals, including the substance used in Salisbury, to Schedule l of the CWC Annex on Chemicals.
60. We reaffirm our strong commitment to the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction as a proven and effective mechanism for addressing WMD proliferation threats that exist worldwide. We remain strongly concerned by the threat of terrorists gaining access to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) materials and we commit to deter any possible acquisition and use of CBRN materials and weapons by non-state actors. We recognize the ongoing need for the Global Partnership, and we underscore the importance for the 31 active members to continue to deliver programming and coordinate activities to combat chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear proliferation and terrorism. We also support the partnership’s efforts to promote full implementation of UNSCR 1540, noting its importance as the cornerstone to preventing non-state actors from developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring, or using WMDs & their delivery systems.
61. We recognize that the illicit transfer and destabilizing accumulation of conventional arms by non-state actors, in particular small arms and light weapons and related ammunition, continue to undermine global efforts to achieve peace and sustainable development in many parts of the world. We are committed to continuing to promote effective systems of national controls for exports and imports of conventional arms, including those called for in the Arms Trade Treaty, and dual-use goods, and to supporting improvements in stockpile management and law enforcement cooperation. We welcome the progress made at the Third Review Conference of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons which expressed a renewed commitment to fight the diversion of small arms and light weapons, and to strengthen international cooperation and assistance. We commend the coordination initiative launched by France and Germany in the Western Balkans region to improve coordination between international donors, enhance cooperation and reduce illicit firearms trafficking in the region by 2024. We note the importance of states meeting all their obligations both in implementing their commitments and resourcing the bodies to which they are party including the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons, the Arms Trade Treaty, the UN Protocol against the illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in firearms and the UN Register on Conventional Arms.
62. We recognize the role of the Ottawa Convention which banned for its State Parties the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines, and look forward to its Fourth Review Conference. However, we remain concerned about the continued use of antipersonnel mines in Myanmar, and the high number of casualties as a result of conflicts, including those involving non-State armed groups in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and Ukraine. We remain committed to comprehensive mine action addressing mines, explosive remnants of war and unexploded ordnance. We commend the work being done through mine action programs to address the different impacts of anti-personnel mines and explosive remnants of war on men and women, boys and girls, and leverage opportunities to empower women and girls as agents of change in their communities.
Terrorism and transnational security threats
63. The fight against terrorism remains a top priority. While we celebrate Daesh’s territorial losses in Iraq and Syria, we remain committed to addressing the social economic and political conditions that contributed to the rise of Daesh to ensure a lasting victory against the terrorist organization which is likely to retain a presence as an insurgency, launching both planned and opportunistic attacks and attempting to seize territory. In this regard, we acknowledge the key role the Global Coalition against Daesh and the Global Counterterrorism Forum can play in preventing the re-emergence of Daesh, and note our commitment to upholding the rule of law in our counterterrorism efforts. The terrorist threat against our societies has not disappeared. Daesh, despite its territorial losses, and Al-Qaeda, along with their affiliates, continue to constitute a threat to international peace and security. These terrorist groups remain determined to conduct operations and to inspire terrorist attacks, fueling a high level of homegrown terrorist threat. We reaffirm our support for the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and welcome the launch of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact to ensure that the UN system provides coordinated capacity-building support to Member States, at their request, in implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and other relevant resolutions.
64. We are committed to developing and implementing measures to address the threat posed by the international travel of terrorists, including foreign terrorist fighters, as outlined in the joint commitments of the G7 foreign and security ministers in Toronto with specific emphasis on ensuring the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2396, placing specific importance on global standards for the use of battlefield evidence in judicial processes; assisting partners to develop capability to use Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) data, and working with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to establish a global standard for the responsible use of PNR data. We emphasize the importance of holding FTFs, both men and women, accountable for their actions and maximizing the possibility of successful prosecution, in a manner consistent with applicable national and international law. We stand ready to support capacity-building programmes in third countries having to handle and prosecute large numbers of returning terrorist fighters. We are determined to do all we can to prevent FTFs travelling to the battlefield. We are committed to providing appropriate measures to handle the issues of returning families of FTFs accompanying, including children, youth and women.
65. We continue to support measures to tackle terrorist financing, including UNSCR 1267 and its successor resolutions, most recently UNSCR 2368 ISIL and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Regime, and UNSCR 2347 on the protection of cultural heritage from illicit trafficking, as well as UNSCR 2341 on the protection of critical infrastructure and UNSCR2462 on preventing and combatting the financing of terrorism. We are committed to step up international action and cooperation to fight terrorist financing. We reaffirm the need to find solutions to address new threats, including the risk of new financial instruments being abused. In this light, we are committed to implement Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards and the measures and welcome the final declarations of the "No Money for Terror" conference held in Paris on 25-26 April 2018, and are looking forward to the upcoming conference to be held in Melbourne, Australia on 7-8 November 2019. We reiterate our resolve to prevent terrorist groups from using kidnap for ransom as a means of raising funds for their activities and harming our citizens at home and overseas, in accordance with the relevant international conventions, and call upon all States to become party to the International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages, whether or not States are a party to regional conventions on the matter, and to fully implement their obligations under those to which they are a party.
66. We recall our commitment to implement the Ise-Shima Action Plan on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, our support for the Taormina Statement on the Fight against Terrorism and Violent Extremism, the Ischia Communiqué, and the Toronto Commitments on managing foreign terrorist fighters and associated travelers We welcome progress made in helping 60 priority fighter source, transit, and destination countries expand connectivity between their air, land, sea ports of entry to INTERPOL databases for use in traveler screening. We will work to ensure the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy is balanced across all four of its pillars and that the UN follows the recommendations of the Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism. We reaffirm that effective and sustainable counterterrorism measures require a global approach that combines domestic and international efforts, while promoting the rule of law, and upholding established national and international human rights norms and obligations. We recognize that violent extremists and terrorists manipulate and exploit gender stereotypes and dynamics to attract and maintain recruits and use sexual and gender-based violence to achieve their objective, including trafficking in persons and rape, and we are committed to holding those responsible to account. Recognizing that gender-responsive measures that include women’s perspectives and participation to prevent and eradicate are vital to attain effective and sustainable results in the fight against terrorism, we are committed to fully integrating the women, peace and security agenda into our counterterrorism policies and programs. We are also convinced that a special focus on the Youth is crucial in the fight against violent extremism and we are committed to tackling this issue in our own countries, including by addressing the underlying conditions of radicalisation conducive to terrorism and fighting inequality. We also commit to supporting the efforts of third countries to detect and fight radicalisation to violence, including in prisons, and to tailor means of disengagement. We will continue to support the work of multilateral organisations in these areas including the Global Community Engagement for Resilience Fund (GCERF).
67. We also reaffirm our commitment to counter the use of the Internet for terrorist and violent extremist purposes. We express our determination to continue to work to encourage technology companies to implement measures necessary to protect their users from efforts by terrorists to radicalize, inspire, recruit others to violence and plan attacks, as well as to counter violent extremist and terrorist narratives while fostering positive alternative narratives. To increase their effectiveness, our efforts must be coordinated with other counterterrorism and countering-violent-extremism interventions.
68. We remain committed to enhancing our efforts, individually and collectively, to promote better implementation of effective aviation security standards; to have a global understanding of our shared threats to aviation; and to meet our global aviation security obligations fully whilst supporting other nations to do so. In this regard we offer our full support to the International Civil Aviation Organization to deliver early and substantive implementation of the Global Aviation Security Plan and a security focus to the 2019 ICAO Assembly. Similarly, we encourage ICAO to make passenger name record (PNR) data an ICAO standard this year. Further, we call for the review of the ICAO audit program and the implementation of measures to tackle insider threats to aviation security. We support the substantive participation of all active members of the international aviation community in ICAO forums. Excluding some of its members for political purposes compromises aviation safety and security. We are also committed to the delivery of long term sustainable improvements to the security of the transport network as a whole.
69. In order to properly address organized crime issues, we call for parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the protocols thereto to effectively implement these instruments. In this regard, we commend the adoption of the resolution creating a review mechanism for the UNTOC and we are committed to contribute to its full implementation. Further, the G7 countries will actively contribute to the 28th Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in order to further strengthen the international cooperation and to prepare the 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Kyoto, Japan.
70. We recognise online child sexual exploitation as a global threat demanding a global response.
71. We commend the progress made over the last decade to effectively address the world drug problem. The Outcome Document of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) held in 2016 recognized the importance of pursuing a comprehensive, integrated and balanced approach that fully respects human rights and the United Nations conventions on drugs, which constitute the corner-stone of the international drug control system. These commitments were recently renewed for the next decade, during the ministerial segment of the 62nd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, on March 14-15, 2019 in Vienna. We insist on the importance of the principle of common and shared responsibility and intend to reinforce our cooperation with other regions of the world in order to reduce illicit drug production and trafficking, to promote data collection, research and the sharing of information, to support scientific, evidence-based prevention and treatment programmes, access to health care and to encourage activities to enhance the effectiveness of criminal justice responses and the inclusion of civil society, as well as the scientific community and academia, in international discussions related to the world drug problem. We call on all countries to follow through with their efforts to exert better control on fentanyl production and classification as controlled substances.
72. We recognize that environmental and conservation crimes, including the illegal wildlife trade, and illegal logging and associated trade, are serious crimes that pose a significant and growing threat. We are committed to working together to strengthen cross-border law enforcement and tackle corruption associated with these forms of crime. We encourage all countries to close markets for illegally traded wildlife and wildlife products, including elephant ivory. We commend the proposals made by the G7 Security Ministers to fight against environmental crime and are committed to contribute to their implementation.
73. Recognising their global membership and adaptability to diverse legal systems, we stress the importance of the Convention on Cybercrime ("Budapest Convention") and the UNTOC as effective global frameworks to support law enforcement cooperation against cybercrime. We encourage non-signatory countries to accede to the Budapest Convention. Further, we will continue working closely together to facilitate access to digital evidence for law enforcement and judicial authorities, including through the negotiation of an Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention with the necessary conditions and safeguards, and in full respect of human rights. We reaffirm our support for the Intergovernmental Expert Group (IEG) on Cybercrime, and CCPCJ, as the primary bodies with the appropriate expertise for dealing with cybercrime matters within the UN.
74. We underscore the role that the G7 Roma-Lyon Group plays in fostering international cooperation to counter terrorism and combat transnational organized crime. We welcome the Roma-Lyon Group taking a more active role in delivering practical outcomes on counterterrorism, fighting transnational organized crime, along with other partners and in particular INTERPOL.
Conflict prevention and support for UN efforts and reform
75. We stress the overriding importance of conflict prevention to reduce the unprecedented human and economic cost of violent conflicts around the globe. We emphasize the need for more innovative, integrated and flexible approaches to conflict management that encompass the whole peace continuum, including making better use of preventative diplomacy such as mediation, human rights and accountability mechanisms, and development activities that tackle root causes of conflict, instability and vulnerability. In this regard, we stress the need for international cooperation to tackle complex global challenges. We thank the Working Group on Climate Change and Fragility for its work, and note its report.
76. Underscoring the central role of the UN in sustaining peace, we reaffirm our support to Secretary-General Guterres’ vision for UN reform and welcome efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the UN system. We commend the important role that the UN plays in preventing violent conflicts and responding to international crises. We encourage the UN to continue on this path to institutionalize change management in the organization. We further call on the UN to continue to strengthen accountability mechanisms and the oversight and investigation function throughout the UN system. In particular we call on all parts of the UN system to fully implement the decision on UNDS reform and to make full use of the reinvigorated RC system.
77. We also stress the need to ensure that peacekeeping missions are as effective and efficient as possible in responding to peace and security challenges, including through improved performance, greater participation of women, innovation and training, prioritized and phased mission mandates, well trained uniformed personnel, appropriate equipment, and adequate resources. We underline the important role of peacekeeping operations in the protection of civilians, in particular from sexual violence, and the prevention of mass atrocities, as mandated. We reiterate our support for the UN Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (General’s A4P) initiative and its shared political commitments. We call on countries to continue considering innovative means of supplying personnel, assets and training in support of peacekeeping missions, including through the smart pledging approaches last discussed at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference in Vancouver in November 2017 and the Ministerial Meeting on Peacekeeping organized by the UNSG on March 29th 2019. We also underscore the importance of properly planned and effective transitions, including peacebuilding strategies, and the essential role of police in this regard. Further, we highlight the important role UN missions can play in the protection of cultural heritage and the need for peace operations to properly manage their environmental impact.
78. We stress the critical importance of fully implementing and reinforcing the UN’s zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse across the UN system and call on all countries to hold their personnel accountable, whether they work in civilian or uniformed peacekeeping roles.
79. We further stress the need to accelerate efforts to increase the number of women serving in a full range of meaningful peacebuilding and peacekeeping roles and in leadership positions across the UN system, and reiterate our support for the Gender Parity Strategy. We underscore the importance of strengthening the global implementation of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda through national leadership and action in multilateral forums, such as the UN, the African Union (AU) and the European Union. We underline the important role of regional and sub-regional organizations in advancing the WPS agenda and acknowledge the crucial role of National Action Plans and other initiatives for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its follow-up resolutions. We also acknowledge that civil society, in particular local women’s organizations and movements, plays in such policy efforts and its central role in conflict prevention and often needs support to effectively carry out its functions. In this context, we welcome initiatives such as the WPS Focal Points Network, launched on the margins of the UN General Assembly in 2016, the Elsie Initiative Fund for Uniformed Women in Peace Operations, the African Women Leaders Network and the creation of regional networks of women mediators (such as the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network, FemWise, and Women Mediators across Commonwealth), with the aim to overcome persisting obstacles to women’s inclusion in peace processes and to enhance their meaningful participation and influence, locally and globally. We are committed to demonstrating leadership in this area, notably by continuing to strengthen partnerships with international and regional organizations, as well as civil society organizations and through the G7 WPS Partnership Initiative.
80. In accordance with our Toronto Commitments, we are building tailored partnerships based on mutual learning and approaches in order to address the challenges related to the situation and role of women in promoting peace and security and we will report on our progress in advance of the Summit in Biarritz. In addition we note the G7 Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in developing countries recognizing the importance of girls’ and women’s access to education in crisis and conflict-affected situations within the overall objective of providing the opportunity for at least 12 years of quality education for all, leading to improved learning outcomes. Recognizing the need to prioritize education systematically in the international response to complex emergencies, we invite collaboration with and between G7 development ministers and other partners to take this forward.
81. We confirm our intention to accelerate the global implementation of the youth, peace and security agenda, including through investing in young people’s resilience and promoting their meaningful inclusion in all efforts for maintaining and promoting peace and security. We recognize that violent conflicts and security threats often affect children and youth disproportionately. Children are killed, maimed, injured, displaced, separated from their families, exploited and unlawfully recruited or used by armed groups. They are denied access to learning and health care and are food insecure. We are committed to developing and implementing measures that includes children and youth while addressing the disproportionate impact of violent conflicts and security threats that affects them.
82. We look forward to meeting in New York in September 2019 on the margins of the UN General Assembly.
We, the Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and the EU High Representative, gathered in Saint-Malo on April 5th express our deepest concern about military operations near Tripoli, Libya. We urge all involved parties to immediately halt all military activity and movements toward Tripoli, which are hindering prospects for the UN-led political process, putting civilians in danger, and prolonging the suffering of the Libyan people.
We firmly believe that there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict. We strongly oppose any military action in Libya. Any Libyan actor or faction that precipitates further civil conflict are harming innocent people and standing in the way of the peace that Libyans deserve.
We reiterate our full and united support to the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Special Representative of the Secretary General Ghassan Salame as the UN seeks to help Libyans overcome Libya’s political stalemate, and help Libyans chart a path toward credible and peaceful elections as soon as possible, as agreed by the Libyan parties in Paris in May 2018 and in Palermo in November 2018. We further call on all Libyans to constructively support the UN led process and the international community to demonstrate full unity and cohesion towards the shared objective of the sustainable stabilisation of Libya.
3. G7 Dinard-Saint-Malo - Foreign ministers meeting - Dinard declaration on the partnership for a comprehensive and sustainable strategy to combat illicit trafficking in the Sahel region (Dinard - April 6, 2019)
Discussing the situation in the Sahel region, we have agreed on the urgent need to address the illicit trafficking in drugs, small arms and light weapons (SALW), trafficking in persons, and smuggling of migrants, especially as these criminal activities fuel instability and corruption, jeopardize rule of law and peace efforts, create a breeding ground for terrorist organizations, and contribute to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation. The influence of criminal groups undermines national and international efforts to create better opportunities for the people in the licit economy.
The fight against illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and SALW is a challenge linked to the fight against terrorism and its financing, as well as the implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Mali. Additionally, migrants in the Sahel and North Africa can be vulnerable to various forms of human trafficking, including sex trafficking and forced labor.
Several cooperation programs are in place, but results are so far too limited, due to the scale of the challenge, the lack of capabilities, the limited presence of state authorities in vulnerable areas, and the need for reinforced coordination and sustained monitoring of international support.
The multidimensional aspect of the fight against trafficking calls for an integrated regional development and security response taking into account the intraregional dynamics in West Africa.
We have therefore decided to launch an Initiative for a new political Partnership for a comprehensive and sustainable strategy to combat the illicit trafficking in drugs and SALW, trafficking in persons, and smuggling of migrants in the Sahel region.
As participants of the joint Partnership we commit to:
- Further engaging with G5 Sahel countries in order to foster our bilateral and multilateral cooperation (both operational and capacity-building) in the fight against transnational criminal networks involved in the illicit trade in narcotic drugs, SALW, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in the wider Sahel region, in accordance with internationally recognized standards and principles.
- Reinforcing a comprehensive security and development partnership, whereby G5 countries take ownership of national and regional action plans focused on law enforcement and ensuring an effective criminal justice response, including protection and assistance to victims. Meanwhile, international and regional stakeholders and donors commit to continue exploring ways to provide resources to support this effort, notably through better coordination.
- Assisting in the establishment of a roadmap for the G5 Sahel, containing a timetable, objectives and performance indicators, with the association of willing ECOWAS member states and all relevant international stakeholders, in particular UN, AU and EU, to continue to strengthen law enforcement and judiciary systems ("penal chain"), supporting integrated border controls, intelligence-led policing (including criminal analysis capacities), anti-money laundering and anti-corruption mechanisms and legal and operational tools to detect and seize illicit funds in the course of investigations, while integrating gender considerations throughout.
- Commending G5 Sahel peace and security initiatives - in particular the G5 Regional Security Cooperation Platform in the Sahel (PCMS), the Sahel Security College, the G5 Sahel Defense College - to enhance the G5’s role and capacities to pool and multiply national efforts in the fight against common security threats, particularly illicit trafficking.
- Encouraging the implementation of the African Union Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by 2020 in the framework of the G7-AU Initiative on SALW control in the wider Sahel region.
- Promoting enhanced coordination between the EU, including through its civilian crisis management missions (EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUCAP Sahel Niger), INTERPOL and the UN (including UNODC) to help build up more efficient G5 Sahel police and defense capabilities, especially in the context of the G5 Regional Security Cooperation Platform in the Sahel, as well as within the framework of the operationalization of the G5 Sahel Joint Force and of its police component.
- Highlighting the overarching importance of justice as the cornerstone of security, governance and development efforts, with the objective of strengthening national institutions as well as regional cooperation, in particular through revitalizing the West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors (WACAP).
Nearly 20 years after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 (2000), the G7 calls the attention of the international community to the unique and disproportionate impact of armed conflicts on women and girls, as well as the pervasive barriers they face at all stages of the conflict cycle. Despite the different effects of armed conflict on women and men, and girls and boys, and the substantive role women offer in conflict prevention and resolution, women rarely sit at the negotiating table. Rarely do peace agreements include provisions that protect women’s human rights and fundamental freedoms, or the human rights of other groups facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence. At the same time, we know that when women are meaningfully included and play an influential role in peace processes, peace agreements are more likely last.
In this context, we recall the importance of supporting inclusive peace processes that enable women’s meaningful and equal participation. This includes ensuring that women have a formal place in the decision-making process and that their participation and contributions are fully considered and integrated into all phases of the negotiation and implementation of the agreement. It further requires recognition of important and necessary peacebuilding work that women’s organizations and civil society undertake, including at the local level, in times of conflict as well as through prevention mechanisms and in post conflict situations. Inclusive peace processes necessitates providing support to women and women’s organizations as well as creating receptive environments for their full, meaningful and equal participation. We affirm our willingness to intensify our efforts in this respect, in the lead up to the twentieth anniversary of UNSCR 1325 in 2020.
The social stigma and exclusion that survivors and victims of sexual violence in conflict often face must no longer be the norm. The international community must be mobilized to prevent sexual and gender-based violence in conflict and to support efforts and initiatives that promote a survivor and victim-centered approach to response, including by addressing the needs of survivors and victims and their children born of sexual violence in conflict, facilitating their reintegration into family and society, strengthening justice including restorative justice, holding perpetrators to account, and providing medical, psychological and social relief. We recognize the role of activists, civil society, and the private sector in this regard.
Therefore, as participants of the "Dinard Declaration on Women, Peace and Security", we commit to:
- Continuing efforts to respond to survivors and victims’ specific medical, psychological and social needs. We encourage the efforts such as those by Nobel Peace Prize laureates Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege to create a voluntary fund dedicated to survivors and victims of sexual violence;
- Deepening coordination among G7 members to enhance our rapid response support to survivors and victims, including in providing medical, psychological, social assistance and relief efforts to survivors and victims. Efforts could be in support of existing initiatives as well as the establishment of new initiatives and measures;
- Enhancing coordination among G7 members to support women’s participation in peace processes including in their roles as negotiators, mediators and peacebuilders; and encouraging initiatives aimed at increasing the full, meaningful and equal participation of women in peace processes, peacemaking and peace building, including in the framework of the G7 Women, Peace and Security Partnerships Initiative in the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements and through support to relevant local women peacebuilders and women’s organizations.
As our societies become increasingly digitalized, reinforcing trust, security and stability in cyberspace is critical in order to ensure that all actors can fully enjoy its benefits. We remain committed to promoting an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful cyberspace for all, where the application of international law and fundamental freedoms are promoted and human rights are protected online.
In this context, we recall with appreciation that the General Assembly has affirmed that international law, and in particular the Charter of the United Nations, is applicable and is essential to maintaining peace and stability and promoting an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful Information and Communications Technology (ICT) environment. We also recall the conclusions of the 2010, 2013 and 2015 reports of the Groups of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, transmitted by the UN Secretary General and consensually endorsed by the UN General Assembly, which called on all states to be guided in their use of ICTs by these reports.
These reports notably stressed that rules, principles and voluntary and non-binding norms of responsible behavior of States in the use of ICTs can reduce risks to international peace, security and stability and that confidence-building measures strengthen international peace and security and can increase inter-state cooperation, transparency, predictability and stability.
We affirm our willingness to establish a Cyber Norm Initiative (CNI) dedicated to sharing best practices and lessons learned on the implementation of previously recognized voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible State behavior. We encourage, where possible, other interested partners to join us in this endeavor or to complete a similar exercise. This would contribute to the work by the UN Open-ended Working Group and Group of Governmental Experts, and by regional organizations, and would aim to demonstrate strong examples of adherence to these norms.
As participants in the Cyber Norm Initiative we commit to:
- Encourage better and increased voluntary exchange of information, among ourselves and with others, on the steps taken by our respective states to understand and effectively implement the voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace and the recommendations contained in the abovementioned reports;
- Share the best practices and lessons learned that will be identified as a result of this process with a wide range of states and other stakeholders;
- Engage with other states to include them in our peer-learning, cooperative, transparency and confidence-building efforts;
- Cooperate to help build our partners’ capability to implement the above-mentioned voluntary, non-binding norms and recommendations.
Two years on from the horrific chemical weapons attacks that took place in Khan Sheikhoun, and almost one year since the attack in Douma, we the United States, United Kingdom and France warn against, and remain firm in our resolve to respond appropriately to, any use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. The regime’s history of repeatedly using chemical weapons against its own people cannot be disputed, and we remain determined to hold it accountable for indiscriminately killing innocent men, women and children with these heinous weapons. These attacks violate international norms, have caused extreme suffering, and contributed to a worsening of the already acute humanitarian crisis in Syria.
The Assad regime was shielded from being held immediately accountable for its continued use of chemical weapons in particular in the United Nations Security Council with the dismantling of the independent investigative mechanism designed to attribute responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Responsible states have remained committed to upholding the prohibition against chemical weapons and ensuring that there will be no impunity for those who use, seek to use, or protect those who use these weapons, in particular by strengthening the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team will now work to identify the perpetrators of chemical weapons use in Syria, an important step in ensuring accountability. The United States, the United Kingdom, and France reaffirm their strong resolve to work jointly in achieving this practical goal.
Only a credible, negotiated political settlement, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, can end the conflict in Syria. The Assad regime must not repeat the use of chemical weapons in Syria. There should be no doubt as to our determination to act strongly and swiftly should the Assad regime use these weapons again in the future.
Just a few words about the situation in Libya.
As we stated yesterday in a joint statement with the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom, France is extremely concerned about the ongoing fights near Tripoli. We call on all the parties to urgently cease the current escalation, which can only take the country back into chaos.
We will now have an exchange with SRSG Salame on the situation on Libya. We fully support the SG and Ghassan Salame’s efforts and those of the United Nations more broadly to put an end to the current deadlock and to initiate a strong political momentum. We therefore call on all Libyan actors to work constructively with the UN and to participate in the national conference planned for April 14-16. This conference should be an important milestone in the political process, which is the only way out of the crisis.
And we must say time and again that there is no military solution to the crisis in Libya. I’m sure it will be our common position during the consultations of the Security Council that we are about to have.