Overview of the French presidency of the UN Security Council
The French presidency of the Security Council ended on October 31. The minister for Europe and foreign affairs visited New York on October 30 and 31 to close this major French diplomatic event which focused on two main priorities:
> the G5 Sahel: The ministerial meeting chaired by Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed the international community’s full support for this project and the need to link bilateral and multilateral assistance to the deployment of this force;
> the defense of human rights and respect for international humanitarian law: The open debate on children in armed conflict, chaired by the minister, highlighted the threats posed by terrorist groups to children and resulted in the adoption of a Security Council presidential statement. In addition, the working meeting on the protection of medical and humanitarian personnel helped to underscore the collective duty to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to this issue. It resulted in the signing of a political statement by 11 UN member states, in addition to France, notably calling on states to strengthen their national legislation and their operational practices to protect medical personnel.
The following important texts were also adopted by the Security Council under the French presidency:
> UNSCR 2380 extended for one year the authorization given to EUNAVFOR Operation Sophia to combat the trafficking of migrants on the high seas off the coast of Libya; UNSCR 2381 on Colombia expanded the mandate of the UN Verification Mission established in January 2016 following the implementation of the peace agreement with the FARC to include the monitoring of the temporary national ceasefire agreement signed with the ELN on September 4;
> the president of the Security Council made four statements on Libya, Haiti, Colombia and the fate of children in armed conflict as well as eight statements to the press on the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Mali, Afghanistan and Egypt, providing an opportunity in each case to highlight the work undertaken by the international community with respect to the crises on the Security Council’s agenda.
France also focused on several other key issues:
> women, peace and security, with a debate on October 27 during which the importance of their protection and their key role in preventing and resolving conflicts was highlighted;
> Myanmar/ Burma and the issue of the Rohingyas, regarding which we organized a meeting together with our British partners under the auspices of Kofi Anan, given the especially troubling situation with respect to human rights as well as on the humanitarian front;
> lastly, peacekeeping, in accordance with our commitment to the issue. Several Security Council meetings were held on the peacekeeping operations, notably in Africa (MONUSCO, UNMISS, MINUSCA, UNISFA) and a thematic debate on the selection criteria and the modalities for the deployment of peacekeeping forces was also held.
France wishes the Italian presidency, which took over on November 1, every success.