Syria: France calls the Security Council to take action
Syria/chemical weapons - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 5 February 2018
We will have an important meeting on the chemical weapons in Syria which is for us a top priority because what is at stake is the situation in Syria and the fight against impunity there, but also by extension the very future of international non-proliferation regimes, in the chemical field in particular.
We know that chemical weapons have been used time and again in Syria. The authors of these barbaric acts, whoever they are, must not and will not remain unpunished. They need to be identified and held accountable. We cannot accept any obstruction of the international community’s action on accountability.
This is why France has taken the lead with this initiative launched 2 weeks ago in Paris with the International partnership against impunity in the use of chemical weapons. This initiative got a tremendous support from many countries across the world. It is neither a tool for political ends, nor a restricted club. This Partnership is both universal, applying to any perpetrators, and open to all countries willing to join it.
Let me underscore that we also support a new attribution mechanism, but that any effort in this direction will need to respect the essential standards of independence, professionalism and impartiality that guided the creation of the JIM.
Q: Chemical weapons have been used again, does it just not highlight the impotence of the Security Council?
You are very right, the fact that the use of chemical weapons continues time and again in Syria is a challenge to the very authority of the Security Council. That is why France calls and will never end calling for every member of the Security Council to finally assume their responsibilities to unite and to take action. It is absolutely needed in order to restore the situation in Syria, in order to fight against the impunity there and everywhere, in order to save the chemical international non-proliferation regime, which is the most elaborated of all regimes of non-proliferation. So if we are not able to stop these regimes from being degraded further there is an existential risk for the very future of the non-proliferation regime that we as the international community patiently built over the last decades and which is now one of the greatest achievements of multilateralism.
So yes the stakes cannot be higher and yes the Security Council has to finally take up its responsibilities on this existential matter.
As I said we support the founding of a new attribution mechanism, provided that it respects the essential standards of independence, professionalism and impartiality that guided the creation of the JIM. So it is according to these 3 criteria in particular, of which we have a demanding reading, that we can move ahead.