Twitter Facebook Flickr Youtube RSS Share

26 March 2009 - Security Council - Consultations on Sudan - Stakeout by Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(in French and English)

Que vous a dit M. Bassolé? Il parait qu’il a dit que la décision de la CPI serait en train de bloquer son travail sur le processus?

Non, il n’a pas dit ça du tout. Il a dit qu’il était important que les Etats membres du Conseil de sécurité aient en tête ce que pensaient l’Union africaine et les Etats africains de la décision d’inculpation de M. Bachir. Nous avons pris note de sa demande. Et là-dessus nous avons réaffirmé, en tout cas moi, au nom de la France, la complète indépendance de la justice internationale et le fait qu’on ne pouvait pas justifier ce qui c’est passé depuis, et notamment l’expulsion des ONG qui mettait en danger la vie de centaines de milliers de réfugiés. Il y a d’ailleurs un briefing actuellement avec M. John Holmes là-dessus. On ne peut pas mettre ça en rapport avec la décision de la Cour pénale internationale.

Ce qui est important, et ce que le Président du Conseil de sécurité vous dira, c’est qu’il y a eu au fond un avis unanime du Conseil pour dire que plus que jamais, malgré les difficultés actuelles, il était important de soutenir les processus en cours, le travail du médiateur conjoint, appuyer la facilitation du Qatar, de manière à ce que, le plus vite possible, on puisse retourner à la table de négociations, que le gouvernement du Soudan puisse avoir en face de lui tous les groupes et tous les partis politiques de manière à conclure enfin sur la réconciliation nationale un accord politique qui sera la seule garantie de la paix à long terme au Soudan.

Est-ce que vous pouvez espérer la conclusion de cet accord pendant que la décision de la CPI restera effective?

M. Bassolé est en charge, il a exprimé des demandes, il a souhaité qu’on le soutienne, il a fait état de progrès, et il a estimé qu’il était possible de conclure et ce dans des délais raisonnables malgré les difficultés actuelles.

In English:

What was very important this morning was the reaffirmation by all the Members of the Council of their support for the political process as the only way out of the crisis in Darfur. We all restated our support for Mr. Bassolé as the joint mediator for the African Union and the United Nations. We also supported the Doha process and the facilitation by Qatar, supporting the fact that they’re working together. We also supported, by the way, the attempt by the Libyan government to try to organise a discussion among the rebels so that there could be some dialogue possible with the government of Sudan. They also play a very important role in trying to reconcile Chad and Sudan. So there was a lot of tribute paid to Libya and to the action of Libya. What is important this morning is the support by everybody of the political process as the only way out. Mr. Bassolé seemed to say that it was possible to hope, within the coming month, for some progress in the political reconciliation.

Once again, the only thing Mr. Bassolé said on the ICC was the fact that he asked the Member States of the Security Council to take into account the position of the African Union on the ICC. So we took the message and we said to him that we would take duly into account the position of the African Union. We also restated our position and I restated very clearly the position of France: the judicial process should go on, it is an independent process, it has nothing to do with the humanitarian situation on the ground today. The basis, the core, the reason of the difficulties of the situation, and the risks of the situation today, are linked with the decision of President Bashir to expel the international organisations, putting at risk the population in Darfur.

You just said that Mr. Bassolé asked the Security Council to take into consideration the African Union position on the ICC. What do you mean you took the message? Would you consider article 16?

We respect the position of the African Union of course, and we understand what they mean. It doesn’t mean we have to share the same position. And obviously there is some disagreement on the question of the ICC. We think that, for the moment, there is no reason to accept any article 16 solution. The problem today in Sudan is to solve the issue of the humanitarian situation and the risk which more than a million people are facing during the next weeks before the rainy season if we are unable to fill the gap of the expulsion of the NGOs.

[inaudible]

We just said that all the Member States parties to the ICC statute should respect their obligation of cooperation with the ICC. We are not commenting on the trip of Mr. Bashir. I think he should deal with the problems of his own country for the moment.

[inaudible]

We don’t have to comment on the trips of a Head of State who is going wherever he wishes to - that’s not the point. The point is that there is an obligation to the ICC for the countries party to the Rome Statute. I think it was expressed very clearly by the legal authorities in the Hague.

There are reports in the press that France is willing to intercept Bashir’s plane if is enters in international airspace...

No, it has been consistently denied by the spokesman of the Quai d’Orsay. France has no reason to do that. We only said that because we are party to the Statute of Rome: if he comes to France then there will be the obligation of cooperation with the ICC.

If he doesn’t come to France ?

We have an obligation, which is French soil and French airspace. If a head of State wishes to enter French airspace, he has to ask for an authorisation.

Bassole said that countries that have influence should convince rebels to join the peace process. France has one of the main leaders of the rebel groups there ; what’s France’s reaction to it ?

He’s a refugee in France. We are constantly putting pressure on Mr Abdel Wahid al-Nour to join the political process. He was wrong not to join it. It is important for the government of Sudan to conduct the reconciliation process with everybody on board. So we think he’s wrong. We are doing our utmost to convince him to join the process and in doing so, we are working in the same direction as the Mr. Bassole, as the Qataris, as the government of Sudan. It’s not time any more for splits, divisions, it’s time for the political process to get underway.

Countries who receive president Beshir are doing it in contradiction of SC resolution ?

There was a decision of the security council to seize of the matter the ICC. Now it’s a judicial process. We, France, as all other parties to the Rome statute, have an obligation of cooperation with the ICC. The ICC can ask any country in the world to cooperate. We argued today that there is no more linkage between the Security Council and the ICC. There is a judicial process which must be carried out in conformity with the rules of the ICC.

So the warrant isn’t under Chapter VII ? I asked this question directly to Ocampo, he said yes.

I am commenting as a Member State of the United Nations. The ICC is an independent judicial body.

Now that the joint assessment mission of the UN has taken place, is it time for France and other like-minded countries to really move for a Security Council resolution?

For the moment, everybody is preoccupied by what is happening to the people in Darfur. There was this joint mission between the government of Sudan and OCHA. We have to commend the government of Sudan and OCHA for having carried out this mission expeditiously. We have a joint report. Mr. Holmes is presenting the conclusions of this report right now. There is a major preoccupation: Even if there is no immediate, tragic crisis in Darfur, the question is to what extent, in the next weeks, will we be able to fill the gap created by the expulsion of those NGOs by the government of Sudan. The answer is not clear. For the moment there is some food, there is some water, there is some health care. How long it will last? Everybody is very nervous about that. The rainy season is coming. We have to deliver, the international community, the humanitarian people have to deliver a lot of goods before the rainy season so that the camps and the civilians in the camps are not in a jeopardizing situation at the risk of their own lives. We will have to work with the international community, international organisations, NGOs, the government of Sudan to see how we can fix the situation. This is a humanitarian problem and if we don’t want to link it to anything else except to ask to the government of Sudan to come back on its decision and allow the banned NGOs to come and do their work.

The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said that when and if this North Korea rocket goes up the US will bring it directly immediately to the Security Council as a violation of resolution 1718 is France like-minded?

We have stated clearly that to us firing of rockets, whatever the pretext, would constitute a clear violation of the relevant resolution of the Security Council.

What reaction would follow?

The Security Council would certainly meet and we’ll see and decide then.

Quelles sont les mesures supplémentaires que le Conseil de sécurité pourraient prendre pour que le gouvernement du Soudan réintègre les ONG expulsées ?

Il y a eu un pas positif qui était la mission conjointe du gouvernement du Soudan et d’OCHA. Ils sont arrivés à des conclusions qui vont être examinées par les experts de la communauté humanitaire internationale et par le Conseil de sécurité. L’urgence est de voir ce qu’on peut faire avant la saison des pluies pour délivrer les tentes, les pilules pour l’eau, les moyens de distibution de l’eau, les vivres, les couvertures pour permettre à la population de traverser la saison des pluies. La première décision que pourrait prendre le gouvernement du Soudan est de revenir sur sa décision d’expulser les ONG, mais dès lors qu’il ne le fait, il faut tous se mobiliser pour compenser cela. C’est ça la priorité. Le problème est d’aider les gens à survivre au Darfour aujourd’hui.

Le fait que le président soudanais voyage en Erythrée, en Egypte, en Libye, est-ce un affront à la CPI et une violation des résolutaions du CS qui demandent que tous les etats coopèrent avec la CPI ?

Je n’ai pas à commenter les décisions du président du Soudan qui se rend dans les pays où il désire se rendre. Il y a une obligation très claire au titre du Statut de Rome, pour l’ensemble des pays parties à ce statut de coopérer avec la CPI et donc de mettre en œuvre le mandat d’arrêt contre M. Béchir. S’il est dans un pays qui ne participe pas à la CPI, il n’y a pas d’obligation légale. Ca ne veut pas dire que nous ne souhaitons pas que ces pays coopèrent, mais il n’y a pas d’obligation légale puisqu’ils ne sont pas partie au statut.

Et s’il traversait l’espace aérien français ?

Aucun avion ne peut traverser l’espace aérien français sans demander l’autorisation au gouvernement français. Je vous laisse deviner quelle serait la réponse du gouvernement français si une telle demande était présentée.

How do you read the decision of countries such as Libya, member of the SC, Egypt, to receive President Beshir ?

I have no doubt that these governments want to be helpful, and they have a key role to play, especially Libya in her capacity as chair of the African Union. If any good can come out of their efforts to convince all parties and the government of Sudan to reconcile, that’s good. We have no reason to criticize Libya’s and Egypt’s efforts to try to ease the suffering of the people in Darfur.

Is there any discussion in the Security Council or the corridors about introducing article 16 ?

Not to my knowledge.



Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share
Rss
Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU