In Ukraine, the urgent situation called for action (02/17/2015) [fr]
Adoption of resolution on Ukraine - Explanation of vote by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 17 February 2015
The urgent situation in Ukraine called for action. This conflict has led to more than 5,000 deaths in 10 months. And that is without counting the victims of the MH17 tragedy, whose perpetrators must be held accountable for their acts as stated in Security Council Resolution 2166.
In face of a humanitarian and security situation that remains very worrying, our collective responsibility, as a member of this Council, is to do everything we could to quell that armed conflict and bring about an agreement. That is what motivated the brave and determined effort made by the French President and the German Chancellor during the past two weeks.
France, along with Germany, has always believed that the road to peace lies with diplomacy. We have always said that the solution to the Ukrainian conflict could only be political. Today, with this resolution, the Security Council brings its full weight and all its authority to silence the weapons and trace a path towards peace.
As its name indicates, the text concluded in Minsk on February 12 consists of a package of measures aimed at implementing the principles of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum agreed on September 5 and 19, respectively. It provides, notably – and this was an absolute priority – for a ceasefire, which entered in force at midnight on February 15. Respecting it fully and consistently over time is key to ending the crisis. President Poroshenko’s speech Saturday evening, in which he ordered all Ukrainian forces to abide by the ceasefire, confirms Ukraine’s commitment to seeking peace. While the ceasefire is being observed in general, fighting unfortunately continues in Debaltseve. As this Council urged in its press declaration adopted an hour ago, those fights must end immediately.
This agreement also provides for the withdrawal of the warring parties and their heavy weaponry, which will permit the establishment of an expanded buffer zone increased from 50 to 70 kilometers, i.e., wider than provided by the Minsk agreement of September 2014. All heavy weaponry must be withdrawn within the next two weeks.
These points represent an important step toward peace. But that step must be translated into action. It is up to the parties, to the signatories of these agreements, including Russia, to actualize the commitments they have taken. I repeat, on behalf of France, only actions will count.
Today, through the resolution we just adopted, the Security Council has endorsed these commitments, as previously done by the heads of state in the Normandy format.
These commitments have therefore become obligations that the signatories of the Minsk agreements have undertaken before the international community.
They become commitments whose respect will be scrupulously monitored by this Council. With its partners of the Council, France calls on all the parties, to fully and durably shoulder their responsibilities to progress on this demanding path towards peace.
I thank you.