France objects to the adoption of the agenda for a meeting on Ukraine [fr]
Request for emergency meeting on l’Ukraine
Explanation of position by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 20 May 2019
France objects to the adoption of the agenda for this meeting.
The Russian delegation’s request that we hold an open meeting on the law on the use of Ukrainian as the national language specifically today, the day of the inauguration of Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky as the new President of Ukraine, democratically elected in a transparent electoral process, is clearly not intended to contribute to resolving the crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
While France supports retaining the crisis in Ukraine as an item on the Council’s agenda, we believe that the call for a meeting without prior notice by Russia, a party to the conflict, would not allow us to have an in-depth discussion and above all is clearly intended to make life difficult for the new President of Ukraine. The urgency of the law on the status of the Ukrainian language, which was enacted on 25 April and will enter into force on 16 July, is not comparable to that of the humanitarian and security situation in Donbas. The Council should remain focused on those two issues, where we continue to expect concrete action, as the lives of millions of Ukrainian citizens depend on it.
The language question should be dealt with in accordance with the commitments that have already been made, including with respect to the ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons, disengagement, the restoration of control of the border to the Ukrainian Government, the implementation of decentralization, the departure of foreign armed forces and the dissolution of illegal armed groups.
What we expect today from Russia is genuine openness to dialogue with the new Ukrainian President. In his inaugural speech in Kyiv only this morning, the President of Ukraine spoke of restoring peace as one of his major objectives.
We are sorry that the Council presidency did not respond to the proposal of six delegations to postpone this meeting to a later date.
In that context, France objects to the adoption of the agenda of the meeting and calls on the members of the Council to vote against holding it.