Transcript de la déclaration à la presse de l’ambassadeur :
What I can say is that we are satisfied that the Security Council will have this morning a first discussion on the situation in Zimbabwe.
We think the situation there is still not developing in the right direction. The first thing the government should be doing is to proclaim the results of the elections. We think of course this will not be enough. We think it’s very clear that the people of Zimbabwe have expressed themselves. In doing so, it is a victory for democracy in Zimbabwe. The government and President Mugabe should recognize that issue of publishing the result of the elections and accepting the result of the elections, which are very clear in our view.
There will be probably no outcome of the Security Council meeting : it is the first discussion, we will hear a report by the Secretariat. But we will probably address a signal by doing so to the authorities in Zimbabwe : we are looking very carefully at what they are doing.
We would like also to salute and support the effort by SADC and also by the African Union to try to find a solution, and we think that the UN should be ready to support those efforts or to send its own mission or mediation if needed. But for the moment we should support the African mediation.
Are you planning to meet with the Representative of the Movement for Democratic change who is in New York ?
We have had contacts with everybody in Zimbabwe for a long time.
We have contact with all parties in Zimbabwe for a long time, including in New York.
Do you think the response will be rapid enough by the Security Council as many consider there is a threat to international peace and security ?
There are hundreds of thousands who have been displaced, abused. Louise Arbour talked about the violence that occurred.
Very serious breach of human rights, yes. The question is not why is this meeting today, the question is : we are meeting today what should we be doing tomorrow. We are starting to do something at the Security Council, it is not easy, you probably know and understand that there is no unanimity in the Council on what we should be doing. So first of all we will listen to the report and we will try to agree on what will be the next step.
You mentioned the possibility of some kind of UN-mission, fact-finding mission, something like that, going to Zimbabwe...
It’s a possibility.
When would that be ?
No, it’s a possibility. For the moment I told you we will be supporting the efforts by the African Union and some regional organisations. If needed, we think, we as French, if it’s useful, we are ready to ask for a mission of the UN. We’ll see how it develops.
There are some statements saying that UNIFIL is not doing its job, and 1701 resolution is not implemented as it should be.
As you know France is very much implicated, involved in the deployment of UNIFIL, and we think up to now UNIFIL has performed and has fulfilled its mandate, extensively and very well, so we just reiterate our full support to UNIFIL. It’s very clear.
On Zimbabwe again, if I could, many countries in the Council think it’s an internal problem, not a threat to international peace and security, what’s your view ?
Our view is that, as Mrs Arbour said, there are some very consistent and serious breaches of human rights there, and so we are fearful of course of the situation of the people. There are massive arrests of opposition party members, there were people who were killed, there are people imprisoned, there is despair, so the situation is very serious and could have some implication for the other States in the region so for that reason we think the Security Council should be involved in the examination of the situation there.
Moving on an arms embargo vote this morning : what views are inside the Security Council towards sanctions against Zimbabwe right now ?
Well, I will tell you after the meeting, I mean, obviously it’s the first time we are meeting on Zimbabwe so I will tell you afterwards. But you know the EU is very clear on that and is very tough.
Was China’s shipment of arms under contract with Zimbabwe helpful in this affair ?
Certainly not, and as Europeans you certainly know that we are against any kind of arms selling in those kind of situations. Certainly not. Thank you.
* On Côte d’Ivoire : is France confident that the identification process will be completed before November 30 ?
Yes, it’s the second topic on the agenda of the Council and it’s very important. We have to take note and to support the initiative by President Gbagbo and Guillaume Soro to announce the elections for November 30 2008. We think it’s a significant step towards democracy return in Cote d’Ivoire and we are fully committed to help him as much as we can, as France, as EU, and with the UN. And we have to support and also t pay tribute to the work done by Mr Choï, the Special Representative of the Secretary General. Now that we have a date for the elections, it is very important for all parties to fulfil their responsibility to implement what’s their share of the agreement, and disarmament, identification, the return to civil life are very important steps forwards. We think it’s possible. We think the political will is there, and the role of the international community is to support them until they act. But we are confident, yes.
* Weren’t the elections supposed to take place in June ?
No, the elections will take place by agreement with the two parties and the support of the UN on November 30. It doesn’t matter in itself when it takes place ; what is important is that it takes place, by agreement of everybody. It’s the first time in Cote d’Ivoire that we have such an agreement, for a very, very long time, so we should build on that positive measure.
* Was China’s shipment of arms under contract with Zimbabwe helpful in this affair ?
Certainly not, and as European you certainly know that we are against any kind of selling of arms in those kind of situations, certainly not. Thank you./.