Remarks by Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France, at a UN Security Council Open Debate on Strengthening the Role of the African State in Addressing Global Security and Development Challenges

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May 23, 2024

Mr. President,

I would like to thank the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, and the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission for their statements.

I would like to emphasize two points.

Firstly, France calls for strengthening the capacities, institutions and participation of African States in the face of multilateral challenges. It is indispensable.

Peace operations must include it in their mandate, as well as in their exit strategy, particularly in terms of support for security sector reform. The Peacebuilding Commission has a useful accompanying role to play in this respect.

France contributes to this strengthening through bilateral cooperation, as well as on a European level, as demonstrated by our partnership with the countries of the Gulf of Guinea against the terrorist threat, but also in terms of maritime security. I’m also thinking of the EUTM training mission in Mozambique. In this respect, the political will of host countries is a key factor, without which no lasting solution is possible.

France encourages the generalization of African solutions to African crises. It welcomes the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2719, which calls for offensive, targeted, time-limited African peace operations which complement peacekeeping operations and guarantee sustainable funding.

Strengthening the role of African states also requires greater representation in international governance. France advocates for an enlarged Security Council in both categories, to around 25 members, with a stronger African presence, including among the permanent members. This dynamic also extends to economic governance bodies.

Because the challenges extend well beyond security threats, we must establish equal partnerships with African countries, so that together we can better respond to long-term issues, and in particular to environmental and development challenges.

It was in this spirit that France organized the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact last June. The resulting Paris Pact for People and Planet is now supported by 54 countries, and sets out a number of cardinal principles to ensure that no country has to choose between fighting poverty and fighting for the planet.

This is also the purpose of the Great Green Wall project in the Sahel, a flagship program designed to combat the effects of climate change, desertification, food insecurity and poverty, from Senegal to Djibouti. France has helped raise $16 billion for this project. We have contributed 140 million euros to the International Fund for Agricultural Development for the 2025-2027 cycle.

France is also committed through its climate finance, a third of which is dedicated to adaptation, and will contribute up to €100 million to the loss and damage response fund. This is also the aim of the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems initiative, launched by France at COP21, which aims to improve early warning systems in the most vulnerable countries.

The cost of inaction weighs more heavily on our societies every day. That’s why effective implementation of the Paris Agreement is a necessity and an absolute emergency, including for peace and security. In addition, concrete and operational mobilization on the “climate and security” issue is essential.

I would like to conclude with a message of hope: the Summit for the Future next September is an opportunity to equip ourselves with tools and strategies that are better suited to promoting sustainable peace, particularly in Africa.

Thank you.

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