UNSC visit to Lake Chad basin
UNSC visit to Lake Chad basin - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, 1st March 2017
A few words on the visit of the Security Council.
This is a very important visit to the Lake Chad basin countries.
As you know, I will be conducting the visit jointly with my friends and colleagues Matthew Rycroft and Fodé Seck.
This is the first time ever that the Security Council will visit the region. It has decided to do so in order to fully support the four countries most affected by Boko Haram’s terrorism and also facing a very serious humanitarian crisis: Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. So this is the overall rationale.
This visit will also allow the Security Council to carry 3 key messages:
Number one, to encourage the States in the region to further strengthen their cooperation in the fight against Boko Haram’s terrorism, through the Multinational Joint Task Force against Boko Haram in particular. That’s the first priority.
France, for its part, committed itself very early to support the States bordering Lake Chad in their fight against terrorism. Politically, President Hollande organized in Paris in May 2014 the first conference ever organized on the issue. It was a very important conference. On the ground, the French forces of Operation Barkhane provide logistical and intelligence support to the forces of the States of the region. And this is a major contribution.
The second message is to encourage Governments in the region to continue to facilitate access to humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable populations. In fact, this visit takes place one week after the Oslo Conference, which resulted in new financing for the four countries in the Lake Chad region. So this is the number two priority, very important also, consistent with the number one.
And number three priority, third message, the Council will also encourage the States in the region to adopt a comprehensive approach to address the root causes of terrorism, including governance and development. And this articulation between the humanitarian assistance and development is also something very important for us.
And I hope that on these three key messages, the Security Council will be united.
The approach, this is also a very important remark, requires the commitment of all actors involved. Not only the governments per se and the government authorities, but also the NGOs, civil society and others who can have a very important role with respect to the three messages I was referring to. And this is why the Security Council planned to hold talks with all of them in a very inclusive and comprehensive way during the visit.
Q: Ambassador, do you think the Security Council will be more active on Lake Chad basin, especially on issues of governance, when it comes back ?
This is a very good question. We had a SC breakfast this morning, one of the messages I underscored was to say the visit is very important per se, this is the first time ever, so it shows a key priority, a political priority for the Security Council. But of course, all will depend on the follow up and whether when we come back to New York, we at the Security Council are able to follow through. This is the key of course.