Darfur : Bernard Kouchner’s statement following adoption of UNSCR 1769
Statement made by M. Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
(Paris, 31 July 2007)
The United Nations Security Council has just unanimously adopted the resolution creating UNAMID, the United Nations/African Union Hybrid operation to bring security to Darfur. Once deployed, UNAMID will number 26,000 troops on the ground. It will consequently be the largest current peacekeeping operation in the world.
This decision is a milestone in the international community’s efforts to end the suffering of the people of Darfur and enduringly restore stability there. It is a source of great hope for Darfur. It is now up to us to make it a reality.
France has not spared her efforts in the process which led to the Council’s decision. The ministerial meeting of the enlarged Contact Group, on 25 June in Paris, brought an international consensus on the need to speed up deployment of this new peacekeeping force. With the United Kingdom, we jointly prepared the text of this resolution and worked for its early adoption, as President Sarkozy and Mr Gordon Brown had pledged.
We quite obviously sought close coordination with all the members of the Security Council and the African Union: my talks with President Konaré on 26 July in Addis Ababa focused on the resolution. We have also ensured contact was maintained with the Sudanese authorities, without undermining the essential objective: the need for a robust mandate geared to protecting the civilians.
But the adoption of this resolution must not prompt us to slacken our efforts. On the contrary. We must do the utmost to ensure UNAMID’s rapid deployment under conditions allowing it to "make the difference" on the ground. This is a tough, difficult task, which will require an unwavering commitment by the international community, in support of the United Nations and the African Union. It will also demand the wholehearted cooperation of all the parties to the crisis, especially the government of Sudan.
It’s also necessary for the political dialogue between all the parties to the conflict, under the United Nations and African Union’s auspices, to find a lasting solution to the crisis. From this point of view, I hope that the Arusha meeting, scheduled for the end of this week, will be an important milestone.
I want to reiterate the urgency of dealing with the consequences of the Darfur crisis in the region, particularly in eastern Chad and north-eastern CAR. I hope that the Security Council and European Union will take the necessary decisions in order to deploy a security presence there.
Finally, I would like all these measures to create the conditions for an international reconstruction and development effort and enable the return, on a voluntary basis, of the refugees and displaced people./.