Sarin gas has been used on April 4th in Khan Sheikhoun
Syria/ North Korea - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 6 July 2017
One word about the consultations we are about to have on the chemical dossier. They are particularly important since these consultations are taking place one week after the OPCW has confirmed with no doubt that sarin gas has been used in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4th. This clear conclusion is very much in line with the national evaluation that France had made public earlier this year.
Now we need the JIM to tell us who is responsible for these chemical attacks. We are 200% behind the head of the JIM, Mr Edmond Mulet, and his team, to conduct this difficult but critically important task. It’s very important that all Council members bring their full support behind the JIM and that the Syrian regime cooperate fully. This is one of his obligations and it’s the role of the Security Council to make sure all actors comply with their obligations. It’s true for the cooperation with the JIM and it’s also true for the obligations the Syrian regime has regarding the dismantlement of the chemical stocks.
One last point and it is very important: what is at stake here is not only about Syria but about the non-proliferation regime, which remains more than ever the backbone of international peace and security. And this very issue must be dealt as such : as a non-proliferation priority, where our divisions over Syria should be put aside. Unity is absolutely needed. We can’t leave the nonproliferation architecture as a whole weakened and threatened, even less so because the chemical non-proliferation regime is the most robust of all. So to tolerate it’s weakening is not an option. Again the key message I have is that this issue should be dealt as a non-proliferation priority, where unity is needed and where divisions over Syria must be put aside. To tolerate the weakening of the regime is not an option. This is something we cannot accept as a permanent member of the Security Council and this is something on which France will remain extremely firm. You remember the discussion we had yesterday about North Korea. This is the same pattern. When it’s about non-proliferation, the essentials are at stake and weakness is not an option.
Q: Question on North Korea
You mean the draft resolution or the draft press statement?
First thing first, what we are looking for is the adoption of a strong press statement, the sooner the better. And then the adoption of the resolution that we very much favor, a strong resolution about tightening and strengthening the sanctions, not for the sake of strenghening the sanctions but as a tool, a leverage to support our diplomatic efforts in order to move ahead vis-à-vis the full denuclearization of the peninsula.
Q: Any timeline on that statement Ambassador?
The sooner the better.