23 December 2016 - Our goal: reaffirming the two-State solution
Israel, South Sudan, Syria
Remarks to the press by François Delattre,
Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
23 December 2016
On the Israeli-Palestine matter, what do you think should be the next step?
On this we have a text in blue, so most likely we will have a vote soon. I think that’s a reasonable bet.
Who has put the text back in blue?
You should ask those who are about to do it.
I think that the key goal that we all have here is to preserve and reaffirm the two-State solution. That’s the priority. The text that we have does not exclusively focus on settlements, but also condemns the violence and terrorism. It also calls to prevent all incitement from the Palestinian side. So this is a very balanced text. And again, the cause here is about reaffirming the two-State solution. In this respect, this is a good cause and a good text.
This initiative goes hand in hand with the French initiative about reaffirming the two-State solution. These are the two faces of the same coin: this draft resolution and the French initiative. As announced by our Foreign Minister, we will have an international conference in Paris on January 15th with the aim of bringing about the conditions that will enable a resumption of negotiations based on the two-State solution.
So the key word here is reaffirming the two-State solution through this resolution and through the French initiative.
These are, again, the two faces of the same coin.
One word on South Sudan: we are about to vote on a draft resolution on sanctions on South Sudan. As you know France has long called for an arms embargo to be established. Such measure, to make things absolutely clear, is not a punishment. The arms embargo is not a punishment. It is a leverage to prevent further violence, to better protect civilians and to foster an appeased political dialogue.
The UN Secretary-General has made it very clear: South Sudan is in danger of plunging further into a new spiral of violence and so the arms embargo is particularly necessary in our views, because the clock is ticking. We hope our partners in the Security Council will support the text.
One word also on Syria, because we had Resolution 2328 and here the key words are extreme vigilance and strict and speedy implementation. This resolution as I said is a first step. Now it’s imperative that all the components of Resolution 2328 be implemented: safe evacuation of populations, protection of civilians, humanitarian access and so on.
And here, while the evacuation of the population in Eastern Aleppo is drawing to a close, thousands of civilians are still waiting for evacuation and humanitarian assistance.
The situation remains very precarious: thousands of civilians are still living in dire need of assistance, in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria.
As we speak, about 130 observers are in Aleppo. It’s an encouraging start, but much more needs to be done. So we will remain extremely vigilant for the strict and speedy implementation of Resolution 2328. And that is what the consultations that we will have at the end of the morning will be all about.
Last message about Syria: let’s not forget the other besieged areas in the country, where the situation is equally dramatic, as not a single humanitarian convoy has reached many of these zones in December. So it’s critical that immediate and unconditional assistance reaches these other areas.