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Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development of France to the United Nations, at the Security Council Meeting on Protecting civilians in the context of peacekeeping operations 2016
10 June 2016

"As we have just heard, a transformation of peacekeeping is under way. We all remember the failures of Srebrenica and Rwanda. We have taken note with concern of the latest report of the Secretary-General on the protection of civilians (S/2016/447), which indicates that international humanitarian law is increasingly being disregarded by parties to conflict. And it is always civilians that pay the price. However, the United Nations has taken stock of those challenges and has won decisive battles and saved thousands of lives. I am thinking, of course, of the Central African Republic, but also of Côte d’Ivoire where the United Nations has prevented mass atrocities from being committed. I am also thinking about northern Mali, where the United Nations protects the citizens and supports the implementation of a political solution.

To those who doubt the value of the United Nations, those successes show that it can successfully protect civilians, as long as three conditions are met…The second condition is effectiveness. Effectiveness means setting a clear mandate for the protection of civilians, if need be by planning all the necessary measures for their defence.

In this collective effort, France has played, and will continue to play, its part. Our main commitment is to continue to tirelessly push for early action by the Security Council whenever there is a risk of mass atrocities…. When States no longer play their role, the United Nations has the responsibility to protect civilians, and it must fully assume that responsibility. We must therefore act collectively."

Read the full statement here.


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