Syria/Non-proliferation: the JIM is not a tool of the West
Women, peace and security / JIM report - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Remarks in national capacity - 27 October 2017
One thing first about the debate that we are about to have on “Women, peace and security”. This is a very important debate, on which France has a leadership role in many respect. And we will continue to promote it, because it is absolutely front and center for us not only to protect women in armed conflicts in particular, even if it is a key priority, but also to promote their role. And this priority has become along the years a priority that is now at the very heart of what the Security Council is doing (...).
What is at stake today again in our preparation for this debate is not only the protection of women, who are too often victims of conflict situations, even if it remains a key priority, but it is also, in addition to this, their full participation as key actors of international crisis settlements. And for the players on the ground, in Africa for example, that we have met along these years, through several missions of the Security Council, it is crystal clear that women are key to peace, as well as key to development. So, again, there is a real change here.
Progress has been made since the adoption of resolution 1325 in 2000, that remains really the backbone of our efforts. But we can do much more to move from rhetoric to concrete results. What we are talking about, it is not about marketing, it is not about PR, it is really about one of the key priorities of the UN. When the Security Council calls and pressures for more women representation in peace negotiations, for more women participation in post-conflict situation, it really matters and it can make a difference, not only in terms of women participation, but also in terms of the results of peace processes. The participation of women is a key to the success of peace processes, in every respect. But it’s not a given and we have to continue this fight. It’s essential for the success of the UN on the ground.
So, this is the message France will voice today, and we hope to gather a growing consensus along the lines that I just recalled.
On the JIM, France’s Foreign Minister has reacted very clearly.
What I can say is that since 2016 the JIM has done a rigorous, professional and impartial work. Once again, it demonstrates its complete independence, its robust methodology and professionalism. The mechanism does not discriminate, does not take sides. The JIM has become an essential tool to document all uses of chemical weapons, irrespective of their origin and responsibility, state actors or non-state actors.
The JIM is not a tool of the West. It is a common asset of the international community, it is a common asset of the community of nations. And we have to cherish it, to protect it, to use it for our common cause, which is nothing less than the fight against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons. (...) That’s why, and this is a point I want to underscore, we must not let short political games undermine this regime. This is simply not an option. Neither weakness, nor division, nor short political games can be an option confronted with the existential risk of proliferation of weapons of mass-destruction - and even more than proliferation, of the documented use of chemical weapons in this case.
So what we do on this is about the very future of the non-proliferation regimes and their credibility. It is also about accountability. In this case, those responsible will be held accountable. Impunity is simply not an option. It is also about deterrence. We are not speaking about a short-term concern here. It is about a long-term priority of consolidating the non-proliferation regimes. If we succeed with the JIM, then our common deterrence capability will be strengthened. If we fail, it will be weakened. I just want to underscore the fact that the stakes cannot be higher here and again that the JIM is not a tool in the hands of the west, it is our common asset that we must use collectively with all our partners in the international community.
Now we have the report. It is crystal clear. So, we will have consultations about it. To answer your question, what we want to do is to recreate consensus on this. There is no other way.
Q: Are you open to changing the rule of conduct of JIM and are you open to change the formation of the experts within the JIM?
Again, the JIM as it is, is the best tool we have. It has been created by a unanimous vote. It has demonstrated that it is highly professional and impartial. So we have a tool, let’s use it collectively.
The key priority now is to recreate consensus. We have the moral and political responsibility to succeed here.