The Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa was held in Paris on 6-7 December. It dealt with peace and security in Africa, the economic partnership and development, and climate change.
Fifty-three delegations from African countries and France took part in the Summit, as well as representatives from the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
Peace and Security
1. The Heads of State and Government reiterated their commitment to collective security in Africa and to encouraging peace and promoting human rights, in line with the goals and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitutive Act of the African Union. They called for enhanced strategic dialogue between Africa and France for a shared vision of threats. They affirmed that peace, security, and the promotion and protection of human rights were inseparable and that a rapid response in the event of serious human rights violations could be an effective conflict prevention tool.
2. The Heads of State and Government agreed on the importance of an effective multilateral system that is representative of today’s world, based on a strong, renovated United Nations. In particular, they called for a reform of the United Nations Security Council, increasing the role of Africa in the framework of an enlarged Council while preserving its ability to maintain international peace and security to enhance collective security as provided for by the Charter of the United Nations.
3. The Heads of State and Government welcomed the considerable progress made by the African Union, the regional economic communities, and the African nations in implementing African peacekeeping operations in Mali, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Guinea-Bissau, Burundi, Sudan (Darfur) and the Comoros. These initiatives provide African solutions to African problems and need to be supported by the international community.
4. With this in mind, the Heads of State and Government highlighted the importance of building African crisis response capacities. France committed to supporting the African Union’s efforts to reach full operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) by 2015, as well as the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC), as decided by the African Union Summit in May 2013.
5. The Heads of State and Government called for a major international mobilization to increase the level and predictability of financing for African peacekeeping operations. As a member of the United Nations Security Council, France will continue to play an active role in this area. They reiterated their determination to ensure the success of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), particularly in terms of prevention and mediation.
6. The Heads of State and Government congratulated the African Union on the annual High-Level Retreat on the Promotion of Peace, Security and Stability in Africa and encouraged it to strengthen this forum, including through drawing on relevant international experiences.
They also took note of the proposal to organize in 2014 an informal Forum in Senegal on security in Africa, in liaison with the African Union’s international partners, in order to deepen reflection on the commitments made during the Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa.
7. The Heads of State and Government highlighted that the establishment of terrorist and criminal networks – drug and human traffickers, poachers and traffickers in endangered species, who fuel corruption networks, as well as those who exploit natural resources illegally – are a threat to peace and security in Africa and worldwide. They reiterated their common commitment to preventing and fighting these threats together. They expressed their determination to curb the production, processing, consumption and trafficking of drugs on both continents, to combat related illicit financial flows, and strengthen judicial and security cooperation to this end. They also affirmed their support for increased involvement of international, sub-regional and regional organizations in the fight against these scourges. They considered that partnerships in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime should emphasize training and information sharing.
8. Aware of the threats linked to piracy and maritime trafficking, and building on the success achieved in the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean, the Heads of State and Government committed to continuing their efforts and improving regional and international cooperation to ensure the security of the African maritime domain. France will support the process launched by the Yaoundé Summit on the Gulf of Guinea by proposing expertise in terms of State action at sea and supporting the structuring of land organization and the training of maritime operators.
9. The Heads of State and Government wished to prioritize the issue of border regions and border security, particularly in the Sahel-Sahara area. France will support these efforts in the countries that so desire via capacity building projects for security and defence forces, cross-border cooperation, and development of the interoperability of African armed forces. The Heads of State and Government welcomed the launch of the Nouakchott Process on security cooperation and operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the Sahel-Sahara region, as well as the organization of the second conference on border security in Sahel-Sahara countries, held in Rabat on 14 November 2013.
10. Desiring to strengthen their counter-terrorism action in compliance with human rights and public freedoms, the Heads of State and Government encouraged the ratification and implementation by all African States of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. They highlighted that the causes of terrorism must be tackled and expressed a desire to initiate regular dialogue on radicalization factors.
11. With the aim of combating the spread of conventional weapons, the Heads of State and Government committed to signing and ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as soon as possible and welcomed France’s offer of assistance with regard to its implementation.
12. The Heads of State and Government support the appeal made to them by the First Ladies, meeting during the Summit to condemn the intolerable persistence of sexual violence in conflicts. They have committed to combat the impunity of the perpetrators of sexual violence and to implement national action plans involving civil society organizations, aimed at putting an end to this violence in accordance with the “Women, Peace and Security” resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.
13. The Heads of State and Government recognize the need to fully include women in political and economic decision-making, notably by establishing measures to promote equal access for men and women to elected positions and roles, so that peace and security, economic development and the response to climate change challenges can become a tangible reality.
14. The Heads of State and Government highlighted the benefits of implementing the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and Their Destruction, as well as the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
15. France committed to addressing these various issues within the European Union, during the European Council of 19-20 December 2013 which, among other themes, will deal with defence and security issues, and to promoting them during the EU-Africa Summit in April 2014.
Economic Partnership and Development
16. The Heads of State and Government highlighted the strengths of the economic relationship between Africa and France to implement the integration process proclaimed by the African Union and the goals of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). They affirmed their determination to modernize this relationship to spur on economic exchanges. They emphasized the need to promote quality growth, which creates jobs, based on the balanced mobilization of physical, human and natural capital. They encourage a sustainable economy based notably on renewable energy sources and harnessing ocean resources.
17. The Heads of State and Government reiterated their support for the initiatives carried out at international level, in particular by the European Union, to achieve the highest standards of economic and financial transparency. Together they called for tax havens to be combated, and for support to be provided to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the initiatives of the World Bank and African Development Bank to facilitate the transparency of industrial contracts.
18. The Heads of State and Government highlighted the importance of making human exchanges the driving force behind our economic relationship, and to focus on young people in order to secure its future. They agreed to promote detection and promotion of young entrepreneurial talent for the development of reciprocal exchanges. They emphasized the advantages of creating a French-African Foundation for Growth in order to bring together public and private interests from France and Africa. They encouraged efforts to facilitate conditions for the mobility and movement of business people, which will continue.
19. The Heads of State and Government took note of the joint declaration signed by the African and French business organizations, in particular as regards social and environmental responsibility, and committed to fostering investment in vocational training and stimulating scientific and technical cooperation between African and French experts to foster innovation. This requires increased mobilization from African and French economic actors, particularly the companies which are meeting for the event organized by the French Ministry for the Economy alongside the Summit, following the “Partnership for the Future” report prepared prior to the Summit.
20. The Heads of State and Government highlighted their determination to create a physical and legal security framework for investments enabling greater mobilization of private investors.
21. The Heads of State and Government committed to working together with multilateral partners, at the OECD and within international financial institutions, as well as with rating agencies, to help reduce perceived African financial risk and to address the current factors which cause overpricing.
22. The Heads of State and Government stated their will to mobilize multilateral banks and their concessional funds as well as the European Development Fund in order to increase sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa. Via the Agence française de développement (French Development Agency, AFD), France commits to promoting Africa’s sustainable development from an economic, social and environmental point of view, as well as the values of democracy, rule of law and gender equality. It will continue to work towards regional integration, Africa’s inclusion in international exchanges and the mobilization of the private sector for developing African infrastructures.
23. Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union and African regional economic communities must help Africa to better integrate into international exchanges and must be sufficiently flexible to enable the African countries which so wish to take part. France favours concluding the EPA regional negotiation process, with scheduling and content which better suits African countries.
24. The Heads of State and Government committed to promoting the innovative use of financing sources, in order to meet the development needs on the African continent in the areas of health, education, agriculture, fisheries, food security, promotion of biodiversity and the fight against climate change. They committed to implementing the highest requirements of transparency as regards public opinion and aid effectiveness. In line with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), France will publish the details of its development assistance.
25. The Heads of State and Government expressed their determination to promote vibrant and balanced trade between Africa and France by pursuing the goal of doubling the volume of mutual trade in five years.
26. The Heads of State and Government agreed to step up the economic and business partnerships by organizing a meeting between French and African Economy Ministers in 2014 and an Africa-France business forum bringing together companies, as well as to jointly plan a schedule of major economic and business meetings.
27. The Heads of State and Government recalled the vital importance of acting swiftly on the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. They highlighted their joint commitment to drawing up, at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) to be held in Paris in 2015, a new binding agreement under the Convention, which will apply to all Parties and must enter into force by 2020 at the latest.
The Heads of State and Government further recalled the urgent need for all parties to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended nationally determined contributions, without prejudice to the legal nature of the contribution, towards achieving the overall objective of the Convention, in the context of adopting a binding agreement, and to communicate them well in advance of COP21 here in Paris. France expressed its readiness to provide support to African countries which so wish, to prepare their contributions in due time.
28. The Heads of State and Government highlighted the need for a balanced climate agreement in Paris in 2015, focusing both on mitigation and adaptation, and including the means of implementation, in particular strengthening technology transfer, capacity building measures for the most vulnerable countries, and the provision of financial resources for Africa in accordance with the Convention.
29. In this regard, the Heads of State and Government welcomed the convening by the United Nations Secretary-General of a climate summit to be held on 23 September 2014 aimed at mobilizing efforts and ambition in the climate change area. The European Union-Africa Summit in April 2014 will provide an opportunity to address the themes of economic partnership and climate change.
30. The Heads of State and Government stressed the importance of promoting a positive agenda for the fight against climate disruption, based on cooperation between parties, in order to maximize the opportunities provided by the fight against climate change for poverty reduction, sustainable socio-economic development, access to energy, the fight against desertification, deforestation and soil degradation and support for agriculture which is resilient to climate change.
The Heads of State and Government recognized that Africa has enormous potential in terms of renewable energies and they commit to working together to drastically reduce the cost, with the aim of halving it. They affirmed their support for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative. They particularly welcomed its aims to ensure universal access to modern energy services, to double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. France will support countries which commit to national and regional SE4All plans through a technical assistance facility aimed at speeding up the development of sustainable energies in Africa.
31. The Heads of State and Government highlighted the importance of immediately implementing actions to adapt to climate change over the long term in Africa, taking into account the specific needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). They called for adaptation actions to ensure that critical infrastructure in Africa is made more climate resilient with the involvement of all stakeholders, including bilateral and multilateral development banks and the private sector. With this in mind, France will ensure that all infrastructure projects which it finances in Africa can cope with the impacts of climate change from 2015 onwards.
32. France committed to helping African countries which so wish to gain access to financial resources and international instruments to prepare and implement climate policies and action plans, and to expanding its own bilateral support programme to this end.
33. The Heads of State and Government recalled the importance of improving the accounting of public and private financing in the fight against climate change and highlighted that it is urgent to build a simple, effective and ambitious financial architecture based on the principle of country ownership, promoting direct access to financing in Africa. France commits to working with its partners to increase the transparency, predictability and sustainability of means of implementation mobilized by developed countries.
The Heads of State and Government supported the recent decisions adopted by the Board of the Green Climate Fund and COP19 and called for the work of the Board to continue in order to ensure an ambitious capitalization and effective operationalization not later than COP20 in December 2014, which would be a significant contribution to mobilizing support for Africa. They requested that multilateral, bilateral and national development banks fully integrate climate issues, both as regards mitigation and adaptation, and called on these actors to collaborate so that climate financing can be used more effectively. They recognized that redirecting fossil fuel subsidies should benefit climate change actions, taking into consideration the stakes for poverty reduction, social equity and energy access.
34. They recalled that in the light of the major additional financing requirements to fight climate change, it is essential to continue identifying various sources of finance, including innovative finance, such as the financial transaction tax established by France in 2012, part of which is allocated to combating climate change in developing countries.
France commits to contributing to the Green Climate Fund, and the national finance law has already allocated to the Fund part of the revenue from its financial transaction tax. It will also continue to support the development of specific renewable-energy and energy-efficiency projects via the Agence française de développement (French Development Agency, AFD) and the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM). France is thus undertaking to carry out the essential qualitative redirecting of financial flows to support sustainable development that contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Africa.
35. The Heads of State and Government welcomed the proposal to hold another summit, in Mali.