French Position On Darfur...
SPEECH BY FRANCE’S PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE
TO THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL
(New York, 27 November 2007)
I would like to thank Mr Guéhenno and Mr Eliasson for their reports.
I wish first to reaffirm to them France’s full support for their efforts and the Secretary-General’s to find a solution to the crisis in Darfur alongside the African Union.
The deadline set for the transfer of authority from AMIS to UNAMID is now very close. This deadline was fixed in resolution 1769, which was unanimously adopted by our Council. So it is our responsibility to help the Secretariat and the African Union meet it. We must also make sure that the new operation will be sufficiently robust and deterrent to ensure that the tragedy in Haskanita, which we condemned in the strongest possible terms, cannot happen again.
The French delegation salutes the countries that have already agreed to send troops in the context of the list established by the two organizations. It calls on countries that could provide UNAMID with the specialized capacities still lacking to do so.
My delegation wishes to pay tribute to the Secretariat and the African Union for their ongoing concern for consultations with the Sudanese authorities. The USG has reminded its numerous steps. It is no longer time to renegotiate the agreed arrangements but to implement them, in transparency.
My delegation calls for the Sudanese government’s full cooperation with the United Nations and the African Union in order to deploy UNAMID. The agreement given last June was a step in the right direction which the Council welcomed. It is time today for the Sudanese authorities to translate this agreement into action as the United Nations and the African Union have done everything possible to take into account the Sudanese government’s concerns while maintaining a satisfactory degree of force effectiveness.
The terms of the debates are clear. They have been perfectly defined and detailed by the USG. It is for the Sudanese government today to shoulder its responsibilities and to show whether it really accepts the deployment of the hybrid operation as it had pledged to our Council to do. We are not at the time of procrastination, but at the time of action.
The security and the well-being of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are at stake, whose only hope lies today in the United Nations and the African Union.
The Security Council’s credibility and efficiency are at stake, in its capacity to preserve international peace and security.
With respect to the political process, we welcome the launch in Syrte of negotiations co-mediated by the African Union and Union Nations, Mr Jan Eliasson and Mr Salim Ahmed Salim.
It is the responsibility of all the parties to ensure the success of this process while respecting a cessation of hostilities and participating in the talks. Concerning the particular case of Mr Abdulwahid el Nour, France is making every effort to persuade him to join the process. We are taking our responsibilities as we call all the parties to do so.
My delegation recognizes the important contribution brought by the autonomous government of South Sudan and regional actors to the process lead by the United Nations and the African Union. The first results obtained in Syrte and in Jouba are encouraging. However, we wish to encourage the actors in these various initiatives to work in permanent consultation with the United Nations and African Union co-mediators who are directing the overall process.
I would like lastly to express France’s support for the decision of the co-mediators to closely involve civil society in Darfur in the political process.
On the humanitarian level, we cannot resign ourselves to the decline in humanitarian access when over four million people, that is, two thirds of the population of Darfur, are in need of assistance.
My delegation welcomes the next trip to Sudan of the USG for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr John Holmes, which will evaluate the implementation of the joint communiqué of 28 March.
We are concerned by the information of the Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Office revealing forced relocation of displaced persons in the south of Darfur. We are attached to the respect of the voluntary character of those returns, according to the humanitarian and international law.
We call all the parties to respect the civil nature of the displaced persons’ camps.
Finally, I would like to reiterate the importance for my delegation of the fight against impunity which cannot be neglected given the seriousness of the crimes committed in Darfur. The Security Council will soon have the opportunity to come back on this issue with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. We will reiterate then our total commitment for justice to be accomplished.
I thank you, Mr President./.