France fully supports resolution 1863 (2009) and welcomes its unanimous adoption by the Security Council. I should also like to thank Ambassador Khalilzad for the decisive role he played in the negotiation of the text.
Inaction is not an option given the tragedy facing the Somali people. We are thinking in particular of those millions of people who are currently dependent on international aid and of those waves of displaced persons fleeing the violence who find themselves in the most precarious of conditions on the Afgoye road.
On the other hand, to decide to establish a peacekeeping operation when the necessary political and security conditions are not in place would be to destine the Blue Helmets to failure and to give false hope to one of the most traumatized populations of Africa. It would also have been wrong for us to commit blindly to deploying a peacekeeping operation at an arbitrary date.
The approach spelled out in resolution 1863 (2009) allows us both to send a strong political signal and to begin to take concrete action in Somalia itself. The resolution sends the new and realistic political message that the Security Council is ready in principle to establish a peacekeeping operation once the necessary conditions have been met. The resolution is very clear on this point. It is also very clear in setting out that, once those conditions are met, a subsequent decision will need to be taken by the Council.
Naturally, that decision will be taken in response to political and security developments in the situation. In that respect, we look forward to the Secretary- General’s delivery in April of a detailed report that will equip the Security Council to take a decision at that point.
Major events are taking place. The Ethiopian army has now withdrawn from Mogadishu. Following the resignation of President Yusuf on 29 December 2008, presidential elections are being planned for 26 January. The risks are great, but it is crucial that the Somali parties seize the political opportunities before them to implement fully the Djibouti agreement, make it completely inclusive, pursue political dialogue and start the work to improve security in certain areas.
Resolution 1863 (2009) enables the Security Council to act right now to support the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). We wish here to pay tribute in particular to Uganda and to Burundi for their efforts. It also makes it possible to support the joint security force created following the Djibouti agreement. The resolution calls on the Secretary-General to establish a trust fund and to organize a donors conference to find additional resources, as well as to establish a logistics support package for AMISOM, as he proposed on 19 December. All of this can and should be done quickly, in a spirit of transparency and, of course, in full respect of the budgetary principles of the United Nations.
The Security Council has chosen to act in and off the coast of Somalia. On the sea, through resolutions 1846 (2008) and 1851 (2008), the fight against piracy is now actively under way, with the notable participation of members of the European Union and of many other nations. On land, resolution 1863 (2008) provides for a number of steps that have to be translated into reality. Whether we are talking about the financial measures that I have just mentioned or the assignment to Somalia of a special representative of the Secretary-General, these are all tools to help the Somalis to live up to the promise of the Djibouti agreement to restore peace finally to Somalia.