I join my colleagues in offering my condolences to the people and authorities of Haiti. We must now mobilize to provide the Haitian people with all the help they need. France has already done so from the French West Indies and the metropolitan territory.
I also express my condolences to the Secretary- General for the loss of the Secretariat personnel among the victims of the earthquake, and to the troop contributing countries for the soldiers of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti who remain unaccounted for. I am aware that there are a number of Chinese soldiers among them.
I should like to thank you, Sir, for organizing this debate on a subject of great importance to France. As has been said, cooperation in matters of peace and security between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations is provided for under Chapter VIII of the Charter. Such cooperation also aligns with the interests of the United Nations and the regional organizations alike. On the one hand, the operations of regional and subregional organizations need the essential political and legal legitimacy that is conferred by the Security Council’s mandates. On the other hand, the United Nations can benefit from the operational expertise and means of regional organizations, particularly at a time when the gravity and number of conflicts worldwide requires the mobilization of all available resources. That is true at every stage of crisis management and prevention, early warning, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
Among the regional organizations, the European Union stands out by virtue of its highly developed cooperation with the United Nations. It is well known that the European Union has a security and defence mandate to participate in peace and security initiatives in Europe and beyond. We have operational capacities that enable us to support the United Nations and to participate in several concurrent operations in different theatres. At the political level, members of the European Union share a common commitment to the United Nations Charter.
It is hardly surprising, therefore, that today — as the representative of the European Union noted — that organization is one of the principal contributors to world peace and security within the framework defined by the United Nations Charter. On all continents, the European Union demonstrates that the European enterprise is not only in the interests of its citizens, but that it is also a new way to express the values of our continent throughout the world.
In addition to the central role of the European Union, I should also like to emphasize the role of the African Union in the maintenance of peace and security in Africa within the framework of United Nations resolutions, be it in the context of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur or of missions authorized by the Security Council, such as the African Union Mission in Somalia. At the bilateral level, the European Union also supports the strengthening of the capacities of the African Union and subregional African organizations, particularly the Economic Community of West African States, in the field of peace and security. The European Union assists African Union peacekeeping missions through its African Peacekeeping Facility.
Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations is therefore growing. It fills a very obvious need. Because its legitimacy is based on the United Nations Charter, such cooperation under Security Council auspices presupposes respect for the values of our Organization, in particular international humanitarian law.
Naturally, we lend our full support to the draft presidential statements before us on the subject of today’s debate and on the situation in Haiti.