Syria: France will not recognize the results of the sham parliamentary elections [fr]
STATEMENT BY MR. NICOLAS DE RIVIERE
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL
== Translation from French ==
New York, 23 July 2020
I thank Special Envoy Geir Pedersen and Ms. Wafa Mustafa for their briefings.
There is an urgent need to relaunch a credible political process in order to bring Syria and the region back on the road to stability.
France will not recognize the results of the sham elections held in the areas controlled by the regime on 19 July. To be legitimate, any election must meet the criteria set out in resolution 2254: it must be free and transparent, take place under United Nations supervision, and allow all Syrians, including those in the diaspora, to participate. The recent parliamentary elections did not meet any of those criteria and deprived millions of displaced Syrians and refugees of their vote.
The only legitimate political process is taking place in Geneva, under the aegis of the United Nations. We call for the resumption of discussions as soon as possible in preparation for the third meeting of the constitutional committee. The regime’s continued blocking of the work of the Constitutional Committee is unacceptable. It will be the responsibility of this Council to take note of this if its work is again blocked.
The Constitutional Committee alone will not be sufficient to establish a credible political transition. All elements of resolution 2254 must be implemented in order to meet the expectations of the Syrian people. Ms. Mustafa reminded us of the importance of making progress on the issue of detainees and missing persons. This Council must unite in response to her call and that of the Special Envoy to release prisoners and facilitate access to detention centres.
The establishment of a ceasefire under the aegis of the United Nations remains more necessary than ever.
The growing instability, particularly in the areas reconquered by the regime and in the North-West, as well as the resurgence of Daesh in the centre of the country are worrying. The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading, including in the North-West, while humanitarian access to this region has been reduced in the absence of Council agreement.
The truce in the North-West must be preserved, and an immediate cessation of hostilities and a humanitarian pause must be implemented, in accordance with resolution 2532, which endorsed the Secretary-General’s appeal. That is the condition for uniting our efforts in the fight against the terrorist groups listed by this Council, in full compliance with international humanitarian law.
In the current context, the priority remains to respond to the immense humanitarian needs of the population throughout Syria. This is what France and the European Union have once again committed themselves to at the Brussels IV conference. France regrets the non-renewal of the cross-border mechanism for the Bab al-Salam crossing point, which provided vital access for 1.3 million people in the Aleppo region. We will continue to assist the Syrians and to ensure that this aid is not diverted and manipulated by the regime.
The economic crisis in Syria is the result of the disastrous economic management, chronic corruption and the regime’s destruction of its own country. European sanctions target individuals and entities that participate in the repression and profit from the fallout of the conflict. They are accompanied by mechanisms to safeguard humanitarian and medical aid.
Both France and the European Union will not finance reconstruction until a credible political process is initiated. France will continue to fully support to mechanisms to fight impunity and welcomes in that regard the latest report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Idlib.