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Official speeches and statements - June 4, 2020

Published on June 4, 2020

1. Global Coalition against ISIS - Joint Communique by Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group (June 4. 2020)

At the invitation of Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio and U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, the Foreign Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS Small Group met virtually today to reaffirm our shared determination to continue the fight against Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and to create conditions for an enduring defeat of the terrorist group, which remains the Coalition’s sole purpose, through a comprehensive, multifaceted effort.

The Ministers emphasized the protection of civilians and affirmed that international law, including international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians and international human rights law, as well as relevant UN Security Council resolutions, must be upheld under all circumstances. The Ministers, recalling their statement of February 6, 2019, committed to strengthen cooperation across all Coalition lines of effort in order to ensure that Daesh/ISIS and its affiliates are unable to reconstitute any territorial enclave or continue to threaten our homelands, people, and interests. Together we remain firmly united in our outrage at Daesh/ISIS’s atrocities and in our determination to eliminate this global threat.

The Ministers appreciate deeply the address to the Coalition on the fight against Daesh/ISIS in Iraq presented by Prime Minister Kadhimi, thank him for his support for the Coalition, and acknowledge with deepest respect the extraordinary efforts and huge sacrifices made by Iraq against Daesh/ISIS.

While Daesh/ISIS no longer controls territory and nearly eight million people have been freed from its control in Iraq and Syria, the threat remains and thus calls for stronger vigilance and coordinated action. This includes allocating adequate resources to sustain Coalition and legitimate partner forces’ efforts against Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria, including stabilization support to liberated areas, to safeguard our collective security interests.

We welcome the establishment of a new government in Baghdad, and look forward to engaging in a fruitful dialogue with the Government of Iraq on our joint endeavor to maintain pressure on Daesh/ISIS. The Coalition operates in Iraq at the request of the Government of Iraq, in full respect of Iraq’s sovereignty and aiming at strengthening its security. We will continue our close cooperation with and support to the Government of Iraq on appropriate measures to adapt the operational efficiency and coordination of our collective efforts to defeat Daesh/ISIS. We welcome the decision of the April 2 NATO Ministerial regarding the role of NATO Mission Iraq. While the COVID-19 crisis has had an impact on the Coalition’s activities and operations, the Ministers committed to continue working with our partner forces to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic while supporting efforts to further dismantle Daesh/ISIS.

In Syria, the Coalition stands with the Syrian people in support of a lasting political settlement in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254. The Coalition must continue to be vigilant against the threat of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, to build on the success it has achieved and continue to act together against any threats to this outcome to avoid security vacuums that Daesh/ISIS may exploit.

The Ministers also noted with concern the emerging threat posed by Daesh/ISIS affiliates and branches worldwide, in particular in West Africa and the Sahel. The Coalition reaffirmed its plans for a meeting focused on capacity building in West Africa and the Sahel that would fully respect international law, be upon the request and prior consent of the countries concerned, and be coordinated with existing efforts and initiatives, including the Coalition for the Sahel.

The Ministers agreed on the urgent need to pursue information sharing on known members of Daesh/ISIS affiliates, including via multilateral law enforcement channels like INTERPOL, and particularly for border security purposes and increasing strategic communications.

The Ministers, recognizing the challenge posed by foreign terrorist fighters who are in custody as well as family members who remain in Syria and Iraq, commit to pursue existing effective accountability mechanisms in close coordination with the countries of origin, including accountability for fighters who have used sexual violence as an instrument of terror.

The Ministers remain committed to promoting efforts to ensure that accused terrorists, including those of foreign nationality, are treated appropriately and tried consistent with their international law obligations, including fair trial guarantees, and we urge the custodians of the detained Daesh/ISIS fighters to continue to treat them humanely at all times, in accordance with international law. The Ministers further recognized that the situation for Daesh/ISIS detainees and family members in northeast Syria is of grave concern and recognized the importance of finding a comprehensive approach to this serious problem.

The Coalition reaffirmed its belief that this comprehensive effort is necessary to achieve a full and enduring defeat of Daesh/ISIS worldwide. The Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS has proven that it is a cohesive, adaptable vehicle that has sustained this important endeavor through stabilization, political, military and law enforcement lines of effort. The Ministers also confirmed their intent to hold the next full ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition in Italy as soon as circumstances permit.

2. United Nations - Adoption of UNITAMS and UNAMID resolutions - Explanation of vote in national capacity by the Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations at the Security Council (New York - June 4, 2020)

France welcomes the creation of this new political mission, which will enable the United Nations to accompany and support the Sudanese Transition in achieving its main objectives: the construction of the rule of law, the peace process and the implementation of future peace agreements, peacebuilding in Darfur and in the two regions, and the mobilization of development and humanitarian assistance.

France encourages the United Nations and the Sudanese authorities to fully implement this mandate, in particular with regard to the promotion and monitoring of Human Rights, as well as the strengthening of the capacities of the Sudanese security forces through the deployment of United Nations advisers. It is essential, as the Council prepares to take a decision on the withdrawal of UNAMID, that UNITAMS’ mandate in these two areas be rapidly implemented.

Finally, France reiterates its full support for the transitional authorities and commends their efforts to build a democratic, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Sudan. We call on all armed groups to join the peace process unconditionally, and encourage all parties to continue the negotiations in order to build an inclusive and lasting peace in Darfur and in the Two-Regions.

3. United Nations - Open VTC on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations - Statement in national capacity by the Permanent representative of France to the United Nations at the Security Council (New York - June 4, 2020)

I would like to pay tribute, through Generals Gyllensporre, Tinaikar and O’brien, to all military component commanders who are carrying out their missions in particularly demanding, and often degraded conditions.

Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, some actors are continuing their destabilising actions. I commend the responsiveness of the Secretariat and of each PKO for having been able to adapt so quickly and effectively to this situation and to pursue the implementation of their mandates to the maximum of their means. The role of PKOs remains essential in such a context.

We see it in the protection of civilians. Both MINUSMA and UNMISS play a key role in this regard. Both have maintained their activities, despite numerous cases of COVID-19 within the Mission for the former and significant restrictions of movement for the latter. France also condemns these violations of the SOFA and welcomes the fact that things are now improving.

General Gyllenspore, following the Force Generation Conference, according to you, what new capabilities among those announced will make a difference on the ground? What do you still need?

General Tinaikar, how is the Force adapting to the upsurge in inter-communal violence? UNMISS also plays a key role in the fight against sexual violence, which can serve as an example for other PKOs. What lessons and good practices have you learned from UNMISS’ work on this issue?

The importance of PKOs is also seen through their political mandate. In Mali, the Force is playing a leading role in supporting the redeployment of the reconstituted Malian army. This process would not take place without MINUSMA. General Gyllenspore, how do you foresee the continuation of the DDR process and the redeployment of the reconstituted Malian army?

UNDOF, for its part, plays an essential role in liaising between the parties on both sides of the ceasefire line. Despite the constraints imposed by COVID-19, it is important that it be able to resume and intensify its inspection activities in the Bravo Zone, and that the various restrictions placed on it be lifted.

In conclusion, I praise the courage of the peacekeepers who have managed to continue their missions, often working, within these three operations, in a very tense environment.

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