Chemical weapons in Syria: unity and responsibility
Syria/Chemical weapons - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, as Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 4 October 2017
"This is among the gravest threats that the Security Council has to deal with so there is a strong need for unity and responsibility", F.Delattre, 4 October 2017
Expressing myself in my national capacity here, I’d like to say that this is obviously an important meeting that we have today on the chemical dossier in Syria for at least two reasons. First of all because we haven’t had any briefing on the issue since August. And secondly, because many developments have happened since then. Among them, there is one point I’d like to underscore : we’ve all seen the information released by the Director General of the OPCW on the presence of sarin late March in Syria. We are still waiting for the details but this is a new element that is very troubling, to say the least. I think it’s important to have this in mind before the consultations we are about to have.
For us, this latest information, among others, further underscores the absolute necessity that OPCW and UN mechanisms continue their work in Syria. They need to investigate, they need to shed light on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, they need to identify the perpetrators of such horrendous acts, which implies a full cooperation by the Syrian regime.
This is one of the key messages that I will convey to the Council and I hope that all Council members will bring their full support to these mechanisms and to the JIM, in particular.
If we try to put things a bit into perspective, which is our responsibility at the UN Security Council, there is one sure thing : it’s not only about Syria what we are talking about, but it’s, first and foremost, about the non-proliferation regime, which is the backbone of the international peace and security architecture. So the two key words here are unity and responsibility, in front of not only the theorical threat but the use of chemical weapons, of weapons of mass destruction.
This is among the gravest threats that the Security Council has to deal with so there is a strong need for unity and responsibility. It’s not the time for short-term political gains or tactical games, it’s really about trying in good faith for all the members of the Security Council to assume our responsibilities.