Nonproliferation is the backbone of peace and security
Nonproliferation - Syria; DPRK - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 23 may 2017
Just a few words first of all to tell you how close we feel to our British colleagues and friends this morning after the terrible terrorist attack of yesterday, and needless to say we are more united than ever in our common fight against terrorism.
This morning the Council will address the issue of nonproliferation in both the chemical and the nuclear arenas. Nonproliferation is one of the backbones of the international peace and security architecture, and is therefore at the heart of the responsibilities of the Council. And I think the two successive meetings we are about to have are important in this respect.
On Syria, I will carry during our meeting one key message: precisely, the Council needs to uphold its responsibilities and one of them is the prohibition of the use of chemical weapons. The Syrian regime and Daech have already been identified as responsible in several cases. As you know, France, for its part, has already publicly conveyed its own assessment regarding the barbaric attack in Khan Shaykhoun on April 4th. For us, the responsibility of the Syrian regime is crystal clear and the regime will have to bear the consequences of its acts.
The important message also is that we will continue to support the existing investigation and attribution mechanisms, which have been carrying their work in a very professional manner.
What is at stake is the future of the nonproliferation regime. If you think about it the chemical nonproliferation regime is the most complete and robust of all. So any weakness on this would open the Pandora’s box and leave the nonproliferation architecture as a whole weakened and threatened. And this is something we cannot accept as a member of the Security Council.
The second issue is on North Korea. On this key issue you saw the declaration of the Council yesterday. The key words here are firmness and unity, and the two go together. The more we are able to have a united reaction of the Security Council on the basis of firmness, the more the North-Korean regime will understand the message loud and clear. The meeting this morning will be another occasion to push for a strong reaction of the Security Council. This is the message that I will bring on behalf of France. We cannot let any breach to the non-proliferation regime left unpunished, otherwise, and I come back to my first point, we will be taking the risk to undermine it as a whole, and therefore to weaken and threaten the backbone of the international peace and security architecture, something we cannot afford. So two very high stake meetings in the coming hours.
Q: What kind of strong reaction will you push for in terms of North Korea?
As you know on North Kora there has been a strong press statement, which is the immediate reaction that we needed. Now we think we must go further in terms of both better implementing the existing sanctions but also in terms of tightening the regime of sanctions vis-à-vis North Korea. This is what the negotiations on a draft resolution are all about and you know France’s position, we are on the firm side on this and we will continue to push strongly.
Q: Ambassador, is this draft resolution still between China and the US or has it gone to the P5?
By definition, a resolution is an outcome of the Security Council.