International community : peace, security and development are linked - 17 November 2015 [fr]
Security Council- Debate on peacekeeping and international security, evolution and causes of conflicts - Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 17 November 2015
I should like to begin by thanking the United Kingdom presidency and you, Madam, for having organized this important open debate on security, development and the root causes of conflict. I would also like to thank the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, the Swedish Ambassador, and Ms. Bouchamaoui. We extend our heartfelt congratulations, once again, to her, and to all our friends in Tunisia, on this outstanding achievement of winning the Nobel Peace Prize, which honours all of Tunisia.
This debate comes at a trying time: the despicable and barbaric attacks in Paris have cast France, and at least 19 other countries, into mourning and shocked the international community as a whole. In recent days many other countries have also been struck by terrorism. Allow me to reiterate what President Hollande said yesterday morning before the French Parliament, which met in Versailles: those attacks will never change the face of France, land of liberty; they will only strengthen our determination to combat terrorism, always and everywhere; and they make working together more important than ever for the future of this planet and for solidarity between peoples.
This debate also comes in the wake of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (resolution 70/1) by our Heads of State and Government, which sets forth, in a very creative manner, the road map for the international community with regard to sustainable development for the next 15 years. I must say that is a noteworthy success for the United Nations, and it is a major step, as well a wonderful message of hope, in our common fight against poverty and inequality.
Finally, this debate takes place two weeks before the launch of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Paris, on 30 November. Everyone understands how much the outcome of the climate conference will be critical, not only for our environment, but also for our security and collective well-being.
Today I would like to highlight two topics, governance and the climate. The first topic is a key factor in both conflict prevention and development. When we began to discuss what would follow the Millennium Development Goals, one thing was clear to all: countries at war saw the poorest results with respect to the Millennium Development Goals. Given that simple fact, a new discussion began on including governance in the new development framework. France therefore welcomes the fact that the Sustainable Development Goals include a goal on governance, that is Goal 16, which is dedicated “to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels”.
That goal is key because it signifies that all the members of the international community recognize the interrelationship between poverty eradication and the promotion of sustainable development, peace and security, on the one hand, and good governance, on the other. That interrelationship, we know, is complicated; it requires detailed consideration; and that is why the precise spelling out of the goal was strenuously negotiated. But now we have an invaluable tool which, fortunately, goes beyond a narrow, binary concept of development, as do security matters. Among the 12 targets of that goal, allow me to mention a few, because I feel they are particularly relevant to our discussion today: reducing all forms of violence; promoting the rule of law; combating illicit financial flows and arms trafficking; combating corruption; strengthening public institutions; and promoting legislation against discrimination. As we can see from the enumeration of those few targets, the international community, particularly the development community, fully recognizes the interrelationship between peace and security, governance and development. We welcome that fact, and we attach the greatest importance to the sound implementation of Goal 16, which concerns all countries.
The issue of climate is the second point I would like to emphasize in my statement. Everyone knows today that climate is a development issue. Why? Because the primary victims of climate change are the poorest and most vulnerable. A few days ago, the World Bank published an important report which highlights the point that, in the absence of action on climate change, 100 million additional people could risk falling into extreme poverty.
Last June, on the initiative of Spain and Malaysia and with the participation of my German and Bangladeshi counterparts, we held meetings on the links between climate and security. Those meetings made us aware of the genuine risks that climate change poses for security, with the consequences that are becoming increasingly clear in terms of natural disasters, the competition for increasingly scarce resources and climate displacement.
We are 15 days away from the start of the COP21 in Paris, a major event for our planet. I myself am returning from a pre-COP21. It was an informal ministerial consultation. My conclusion from those three days of meetings is very positive, although much remains to be done collectively. As the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, said following the event: “We have taken an important step, but we remain mobilized more than ever and the road ahead is long”.
It is very encouraging to see that there is a true desire, one very widely shared, to move forward and achieve a far-reaching, universal and legally binding agreement in December in Paris. Genuine progress has been made, for example, regarding the principle of a regular upward revision of the commitments of States or the financing of climate policies. But it is clear that much remains to be done before a universal, legally binding agreement that is commensurate with the climate challenge can be reached in Paris. As Council members know, this is a unique opportunity. We have a collective duty to succeed together. As the Secretary-General has said many times, and quite rightly so: “There is no plan B, because there is no planet B”.
And so I would like to take advantage of the presence of many ministers here today to thank them for their engagement in climate matters, but also to call on them to mobilize their efforts to ensure that the best agreement possible is reached in Paris in the interest of guaranteeing a future for future generations.