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Official speeches and statements - November 20, 2020

Published on November 20, 2020

1. United Nations - UNSMIL - Libya - Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations at the Security Council (New York - November 19, 2020)

[translation from French]

Madam President,

I would like to thank the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for her briefing, but also and above all for all the efforts she has made during her mandate, allowing for significant progress on the path to a solution.

In terms of security, we welcome the signing, on October 23, of a permanent ceasefire agreement over the whole Libyan territory.

The discussions within the "5+5" military committee on the modalities for the implementation of this agreement represent a real progress. The reopening of coastal roads, and subsequently roads in the central region of the country, could be the new step forward. It should be accompanied by an effective withdrawal of forces from the frontlines as well as other confidence-building measures, including a comprehensive process of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of militias.

We call on the foreign forces and mercenaries present in Libya to withdraw within the 90-day period set in the agreement. The arms embargo must also be fully respected, in accordance with the resolutions adopted by this Council.

Madam President,

The Libyan parties called on the Security Council to adopt a resolution to guarantee the implementation of the ceasefire agreement. Our Council must now take its responsibility by authorizing the deployment, under the auspices of the United Nations, of a credible and effective monitoring mechanism, including to support the efforts taken the Libyan parties themselves. That is why we need the Secretariat to propose realistic but also ambitious options on this issue as soon as possible. France stands ready to work with its partners in this perspective.

On the political process, too, the progress made must be guaranteed over time.

It is up to the Libyans and the Libyans only to decide on their future.

The meeting of the Political Dialogue Forum held in Tunis and the continuation of these talks in a few days are encouraging.

The adoption of a roadmap and the agreement on the date of December 24, 2021 for holding the elections are important steps.

The participants at the dialogue forum must now agree on the formation of a new executive responsible for organizing elections. No one should impede this process. Potential spoilers will be subjected to sanctions.

We condemn violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, especially those committed against migrants and refugees. We must sanction those responsible. This is why, together with Germany, we have taken the initiative to request the designation of a migrant trafficker.

France strongly condemns the assassination in Benghazi of the lawyer and human rights activist Hanan Al Barassi. There must be no impunity for such crimes.

We welcome the strengthening of cooperation between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Mission in Libya.

France will remain mobilized to ensure all stakeholders focus on the same goal: peace in Libya. It is in this spirit that we announced the convening of a meeting with Libya’s neighbors.

The Libyan crisis has endured for too long. France stands ready to continue its efforts. And the Security Council must fully play its role to put an end to it and to support the efforts of the Libyan parties.

Thank you.


2. United Nations - Afghanistan - Statement by Ms. Nathalie Broadhurst, deputy permanent representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council in Arria Formula (New York - November 20, 2020)

Thank you.

First of all, let me thank the co-organizers of this meeting as well as all the briefers.

The start of the inter-Afghan negotiations has created an opportunity for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but the road to a lasting peace is still long. And while the international community will accompany Afghanistan in this process, this support will not be unconditional. This is the message that we will carry in a few days time at the donors’ conference that will open on November 23 in Geneva.

This support will depend on the sincere engagement of all parties and on the respect of their commitments, particularly those made in the February agreements. In resolution 2513, the Security Council welcomed these agreements as a first step towards peace. Since then, confidence-building measures have made it possible to start negotiations, but they are not sufficient and they must continue. First of all, by the reduction of violence. This is a priority. We continue to call for the implementation of resolution 2532, with the immediate establishment of a cessation of hostilities and a humanitarian pause.

Civilians, and in particular children, continue to pay the heaviest toll in this conflict. We reiterate our strong condemnation of the recent attacks. The preservation of humanitarian space, the protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical personnel, as well as civilian infrastructure must be a top priority: it is imperative that all parties respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. Efforts to combat impunity must also be strengthened. The release of prisoners has made it possible to start negotiations, but peace must not be achieved at any price. Those who commit these attacks must be punished.

Another essential condition for sustainable peace, as well as support from the international community, will be the full participation of women. Women must be included in all spheres of public life and all relevant processes. Peace will not be achieved without them, nor at the expense of their rights. We will not compromise on this point and we deplore the fact that only one of the parties to the negotiations has included women in its negotiating team.

As I have said, the sustainability of peace will depend on the fulfillment of each party’s commitments. The Security Council will tailor its support by making full use of the tools at its disposal. That is on the sincere investment of all. Among its tools, the review of the 1988 Committee’s sanctions list is possible, but as the Council indicated in resolution 2513, it will only be done in the light of progress in peace. In particular, we expect the Taliban to meet their commitments under the February 29, 2020 agreement, in particular by severing their ties with international terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida and ISIS. We remain attentive to the progress of the discussions and to the pledges that each of the parties will make to preserve the gains made in terms of democracy, human rights for all, as well as the renunciation of violence.

Our collective objective must remain the establishment of a lasting peace, for which the resolute commitment of Afghanistan’s partners at its side is indispensable. France stands ready to facilitate the peace process at the request of the parties, and it intends to continue its commitment to support Afghanistan’s security as well as economic and social development. Finally, I would like to commend the work of UNAMA and of Deborah Lyons. Their engagement in Afghanistan is a key component of the peace process and the Security Council should remain mobilized in supporting them.

Thank you.

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