Syria : the Russian draft resolution is only a smokescreen [fr]
Syria/chemical - Explanation of vote by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council – 10 April 2018
After having vetoed a draft resolution that sought to shed full light on acts of violence involving chemical weapons (S/2018/175), including those that took place last weekend, Russia persists in a dual strategy of obstruction and diversion on the matter. The only aim of the draft text on which we have just voted (S/2018/322) was clearly to confuse the issue. It is not a question of disputing the importance of an independent investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into what happened in Douma on 7 April. That is essential, and the investigation has already been launched.
However, the Russian draft resolution, which we had to vote against, did not meet the challenges. Let us be clear: what we lack today, and what Russia continues to reject, is a truly independent and impartial mechanism that can attribute responsibility in order to prevent impunity. That was the raison d’être for the OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism. With the establishment of the Joint Investigative Mechanism, set up with the involvement of Russia, we put in place a tool for the essential deterrence of perpetrators of chemical attacks. That is clearly what we lack today.
Let us be clear in saying that statements are not enough and that the Russian draft resolution is only a smokescreen that falls well short of the urgent response that the Council should provide. That is why France voted against the draft resolution and why the draft resolution was not adopted.
Today I reiterate that France will spare no effort to ensure that the perpetrators of those chemical horrors are identified and held to account in an independent and impartial way. The stakes are extremely high, and we will not give up.