Official speeches and statements - June 26, 2020
In light of the growing risks of a deterioration of the situation in Libya and regional escalation, France, Germany and Italy call on all Libyan parties to immediately and unconditionally cease fighting and to suspend the ongoing military build-up throughout the country.
They also urge foreign actors to end all interference and to fully respect the arms embargo established by the United Nations Security Council. They encourage the swift conclusion of negotiations within the 5+5 military working group under the auspices of UNSMIL to enable the signature of a sustainable and credible ceasefire agreement.
This is an essential element to create the necessary climate for the concrete resumption of inter-Libyan political dialogue which will enable a sustainable resolution to the conflict. All efforts in this regard, including the Egyptian initiative announced on 6 June, must be encouraged. Any initiative in support of a cease-fire agreement and of negotiated political settlement of the Libyan crisis must be fully inclusive and be firmly anchored to the architecture of the Berlin Process which remains the only viable framework.
2. United Nations - Democratic Republic of the Congo - Statement in national capacity by the permanent representative of France to the United Nations at the Security Council (New York - June 25, 2020)
I thank Ms. Zerrougui and Mr. Usseni for their briefings.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo still faces many challenges. MONUSCO is helping, but the mission cannot replace the action of the Congolese authorities. The country’s long-term stability will depend on the DRC’s ability to develop its own capacity to bring security and stability to its citizens. I take this opportunity to address my deepest condolences to Indonesia and its Ambassador after the tragic death of its peacekeepers.
The election of President Tshisekedi has offered encouraging prospects. Progress is being made on the fight against corruption, the implementation of certain aspects of the government’s program and on reconciliation.
On the security front, some regions are entering a post-conflict phase and the focus must now be put on state-building and development to consolidate their stability. In these regions, the Congolese authorities can take over from MONUSCO, enabling it to refocus its efforts on the regions that are still suffering from the action of Congolese and foreign armed groups, intercommunal violence, the plundering of natural resources and where the civilian populations, particularly women and children, suffer numerous human rights violations.
In these regions, a determined commitment by the national and provincial authorities is necessary, so that, beyond the military aspect, a socio-economic response can be provided to address the root causes of conflicts. This is the case in Ituri, where the re-emergence of a 20-year-old conflict illustrates the long-term risks when these structural causes are not addressed. As Mr. Usseni has shown us, that also requires strong action to stop the illicit exploitation and export of natural resources. France calls on the DRC and the countries of the region to act decisively on this issue.
On the health and humanitarian front, the situation remains worrisome because of the multiplicity of ongoing epidemics. The government is demonstrating voluntarism in this area and can count on France’s support, as demonstrated by the visit of the French Minister for European and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to the DRC on 8 and 9 June.
These encouraging prospects and persistent challenges must be taken into account in the establishment of a joint roadmap between the DRC and the United Nations towards an exit for MONUSCO. This work must be completed as soon as possible. France encourages the Congolese authorities to commit themselves fully to this exercise.
In the meantime, the constant improvement of MONUSCO’s performance remains crucial. An ambitious reform of the FIB in particular is critical. Rapid progress must be made in that regard, and the commitment of the contributing countries is necessary to that end. We owe it to the populations that suffer daily from attacks by armed groups.
I thank the speakers for their presentations. As we tirelessly advocate for the full participation of Afghan women in the peace process and in public life, I am pleased that the Council is being briefed by women whose experience and contribution to peace and security, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, are great.
The hope raised by the February 29 agreements is rekindled. After a difficult period, there are encouraging signs that the start of inter-Afghan negotiations now seems possible again. The agreement of May 17 is one of these signs; it has made it possible to overcome the political deadlock. The first steps towards the release of prisoners and the implementation of these agreements are a second. Restoring trust between the various partners is essential. But we must not stop there. Almost four months after the February agreements, much remains to be done and discussions must begin as soon as possible.
The conflict in Afghanistan continues to claim the lives of many civilians, especially women and children. The Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire must be implemented. This violence, combined with attacks on health facilities, is hampering the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. France reiterates its strong condemnation of the attacks on the Dasht-e-Barchi maternity hospital, as well as those against Afghan security forces on June 17 and on a funeral in Nangarhar province. The protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical personnel, and first and foremost of children, must be a top priority and all parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. Reducing violence is imperative. Peace will depend on the fulfilment of each party’s commitments, including those to reduce violence and combat terrorism. The Afghan authorities have pledged to do so; the Taliban must now do their part. The fight against impunity and respect for justice by all actors are also the sine qua non condition for lasting peace.
Women have paid the heaviest price in this pandemic, many have lost their jobs or are victims of gender-based, sexual and domestic violence. Our collective priority must be to support them. Tomorrow’s Afghanistan must be built with the whole of society, building on the gains made in terms of democracy and human rights for all, without discrimination. We cannot accept any backtracking. The full and active participation of women in the peace process is an indispensable condition for its long-term success.
Among the threats to Afghanistan’s security, drugs, along with terrorism, are among those whose seriousness prevents lasting peace. Ms. Waly’s presentation, however, showed that drug production, despite years of struggle, is on the rise and diversifying. It has devastating effects for Afghan society and for global security. It is also a major source of financing for terrorism. For all these reasons, the international community and the Afghan authorities must continue to show unfailing determination to combat these two scourges.
For a lasting peace, the resolute commitment of Afghanistan’s partners at its side is indispensable. France will be, as always. I welcome the essential role of UNAMA and the United Nations in Afghanistan and call on all to support the stabilization of Afghanistan and to contribute positively to the establishment of lasting peace in the country.
I thank you.