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11 February 2011 - Security Council - Maintenance of international peace and security: The interdependence between security and development - Statement by Mr. Gerard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

I thank you, Sir, for having organized this debate. I will address two points: first, the particular links between security and development, and then the specific case of peacekeeping operations.

First, the links between security and development. While there is no unequivocal relationship between economic growth and international security, the unequal distribution of wealth and the marginalization of particular groups or vulnerable regions are often factors in a conflict, particularly intrastate conflict. Other factors can be sources of conflict, including competition for access to basic resources such as water or agricultural land and rivalry for control over precious raw materials and energy resources. More recently, new threats to security have emerged. I will cite two examples. First is climate change, which can have tragic consequences for people and countries. This is why France and the European Union urge the community of nations to redouble efforts on the basis of the momentum launched at Cancùn last December.

Second is the issue of food security and the volatility of agricultural prices, which have destabilizing effects. That is one of France’s priorities during its presidency of the Group of 20. The French Minister of Agriculture will be in New York next week for the General Assembly before organizing a ministerial meeting of the G-20 on this topic. In turn, the need for security as a prerequisite for development is well established. In post-conflict situations, national capacity-building in the area of security in keeping with norms for the rule of law is essential in order to establish favourable conditions for development. For example, in a number of countries where the economy relies almost entirely on the work of women, there is a direct link between security and development. When insecurity prevents women from going out to the fields, the ability of families to survive is compromised. That in turn can lead to further escalation in violence. Development actors must therefore take the safeguarding of security into account in their strategies.

For all of those reasons, it is the responsibility of the international community to establish conditions for shared and sustainable development that limit the risk of conflicts breaking out, or continuing. Thus the Peacebuilding Commission, in the countries on its agenda, has made the emancipation of young people and women one of its priorities, alongside security sector reform, as both factors contribute to stability. In the same spirit, the agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations must all play their role in seeking to improve effectiveness and coordination of their activities on the ground.

Here we note the important contribution of the European Union, the leading donor of development aid, accounting for almost 60 per cent of the aid provided by the member States of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), totalling approximately €50 billion. To take a wellknown example, the European Union spends in Somalia one quarter of the €215 million devoted to development just on security capacity support.

Nonetheless, we must not lose sight of the responsibilities of States themselves. Respect for the law, good governance, the strengthening of civil society and the economic integration of marginalized populations — which can be achieved first and foremost through decisions taken by national authorities — are determining factors for peace and security.

I shall now turn to the specific case of peacekeeping operations, where we must draw on three principles for action.

First, we must give greater attention at an earlier stage to the link between security and development. This Council has several times affirmed the need not only to ensure the security of a given area but also to support the political processes as soon as possible and to support the national institutions, particularly in the areas of the rule of law and security. We therefore believe that the links between security and development needs must be taken into consideration as early as possible, starting with the drafting of the mandate for the operation by the Security Council. The implementation of security sector reform and of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes will be effective only if they are carried out in the framework of an improvement of the living conditions of the population.

Secondly, there is the adaptation of tools to situations. We are convinced of the need to give greater attention to development aspects in the peacekeeping mandates. I will refer to two examples. The Blue Helmets of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, among whom the Brazilian contingent plays a remarkable role, ensure security and take on a number of civilian tasks in logistics and health support, which are necessary in reconstruction and development. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is supporting the authorities in their efforts to clean up the mining sector in order to prevent the plunder of resources.

At the same time, the central factor of peacekeeping operations must remain that of maintaining peace and security. Other stakeholders, including United Nations agencies and bilateral partners, have as their mission to take on the tasks more directly related to development. It is therefore essential to clarify the tasks and responsibilities of each party in the framework of a coherent and comprehensive strategy.

Thirdly, let me address the coordination of partners and national ownership. Aid provided the international community, be it multilateral, regional or bilateral, must be coordinated and integrated as part of a strategy set out in close coordination with the host country. National ownership by the country concerned in that strategy is the fundamental prerequisite for addressing the underlying causes of instability.

The Peacebuilding Commission carries out such activities through integrated strategies in collaboration with the countries on its agenda. Such coordination is crucial in the transition phases when responsibilities of taking on again all the prerogatives linked to sovereignty. That is a condition for achieving lasting peace on the ground. The links between security and development are proven, numerous and complex, calling not only for a comprehensive, coherent and coordinated strategy but also for determination and subtlety on our part.

I therefore once again thank you, Sir, for having organized this important debate, which will allow us to further our reflection on strengthening international peace and security.



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