Twitter Facebook Flickr Youtube RSS Share

8 February 2011 - Security Council - Cooperation between the UN and the EU - Statement by Mr. Gerard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

I thank Baroness Ashton for her briefing. I welcome this second visit of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, which attests to the importance of European Union engagement within the United Nations.

I need not recall that the European Union has long been a prime political mover — a reality that the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty has strengthened further. The European Union — the largest contributor to the United Nations budget, responsible for some 40 per cent — undertakes decisive action in pursuit of the Charter objective to ensure international peace and security.

Having brought peace to the old continent, which was a source of numerous conflicts, the European Union plays its full role in managing crises around the world.

On the one hand, it has launched many civilian and military operations, mandated by the Security Council. Without going into exhaustive detail, I cite by way of example the support of the European Union and its member States for such varied operations as those in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on land and at sea in Somalia, and in Kosovo.

Moreover, in the case of serious humanitarian crises or natural disasters, the European Union plays a decisive role in emergency assistance and reconstruction. In Haiti, for instance, we offered our expertise and committed more than €1.5 billion, making the European Union once again the largest donor. I thank Baroness Ashton for her briefing. I welcome this second visit of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, which attests to the importance of European Union engagement within the United Nations.

I need not recall that the European Union has long been a prime political mover — a reality that the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty has strengthened further. The European Union — the largest contributor to the United Nations budget, responsible for some 40 per cent — undertakes decisive action in pursuit of the Charter objective to ensure international peace and security.

Having brought peace to the old continent, which was a source of numerous conflicts, the European Union plays its full role in managing crises around the world.

On the one hand, it has launched many civilian and military operations, mandated by the Security Council. Without going into exhaustive detail, I cite by way of example the support of the European Union and its member States for such varied operations as those in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on land and at sea in Somalia, and in Kosovo.

Moreover, in the case of serious humanitarian crises or natural disasters, the European Union plays a decisive role in emergency assistance and reconstruction. In Haiti, for instance, we offered our expertise and committed more than €1.5 billion, making the European Union once again the largest donor.

The European Union is also involved in the resolution of major international crises.

From that perspective, I thank the High Representative for her very useful and enlightening comments today on the meeting of the Middle East Quartet that she chaired. That meeting, she told us, was just a first step; it should augur a change in the political software used by the international community to advance towards a negotiated final settlement of the dispute, the parameters of which are familiar to us all and which we know the two parties are incapable of achieving by themselves. Phased approaches have proven to be paths to nowhere, and we must therefore move on to a final settlement. We hope that the Quartet will play a key role in that regard.

I should also like to revert to the Iranian nuclear issue, in which the European Union is represented by the E3+3 in negotiations to ensure that Iran honours its international obligations, especially with regard to the Security Council. As has been recalled, at the Istanbul summit the six reaffirmed their unity and steadfastness, while the Iranians insisted on new conditions in pursuing the same dilatory tactics they have used for the past six years.

With regard to another priority international portfolio — counter-terrorism — on 31 January Baroness Ashton was asked by the Council on Foreign Relations to develop a European Union strategy for the Sahel, which we hope will be adopted as soon as possible. Its goal is to combat the links between Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and drug trafficking channels in West Africa. This is clearly a subject of great interest to both the European Union and the Security Council.

Lastly, the European Union is an essential partner in preventing conflict and building peace.

As Baroness Ashton has mentioned, the Brazilian presidency will in a few days organize a Security Council debate on the interdependence between security and development. In that regard, it is worth recalling that the European Union is the main provider of official development assistance, contributing more than 60 per cent of the assistance provided by member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — that is, about €50 billion annually. The European Union’s participation in this debate therefore has particular relevance.

Beyond financial assistance, however, I should like to refer to the efforts of the European Union in the areas of good governance, respect for human rights and gender equality. As the European Council affirmed on 4 February, the European Union is determined to provide its unreserved support for political transition and to support reforms in the southern Mediterranean. European heads of State have entrusted the High Representative with a mission in that regard.

Of course, much remains to be done. However, as Robert Schuman said in his speech of 9 May 1950, Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. That is equally true when it comes to foreign policy.

The time has come to say and to demonstrate that the European Union is not some super non-governmental organization or purveyor of assistance. It has values and projects power. You can therefore count on France’s determination, Madam President, as a permanent member of the Security Council and as a founding member of the European Union, to ensure that that EU assumes its share of responsibility in building a world of peace, stability and prosperity, in line with the objectives of the Charter of the United Nations.



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