30 November 2016 - The goal is to slow down the accelerating spiral of escalation
North Korea / Syria - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 30 November 2016
On North Korea, first, we welcome the conclusion of our sustained efforts to develop a united, strong and firm response by the Security Council to the blatant violations by the DPRK of the Security Council resolutions. Resolution 2270 adopted last spring marked a significant turning point in our efforts to strengthen the sanctions regime against the DPRK, in reaction to Pyongyang’s endless cycle of provocations.
And make no mistake about it, the nuclear military programme of North Korea has become one of the main threats to international peace and security, one of the main threats to the international non-proliferation regime that we together patiently built over the last decades. And so this has become one of the key challenges and strategic priorities for the United Nations. The new resolution we are about to adopt in a few minutes, which France co-sponsors, marks a new and important step in tightening the sanctions against North Korea across the board. A new and important step. This resolution contains very operational and concrete measures, including on specifying the limits to the DPRK coal exports. The goal here is to slow down the accelerating spiral of escalation.
Pyongyang must understand there is a price to pay for its actions, there is a price to pay for their sustained and very important military nuclear program. It is not only about DPRK here, it is also about the international non-proliferation regime. And that is why weakness or division are not an option. And that is why it is so important for the Security Council to be united and to be strong. This is in a way the same logic that we want to apply in the coming days to our draft resolution together with the British with respect to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. We believe what is at stake there too is not only the fight against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction but also the fight against the use of weapons of mass destruction and on top of it against civilian populations.
Number two, one word on Syria. As you know, France has called this emergency meeting on Aleppo for a simple reason: the Security Council can’t stay silent while hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent children, women and men are being bombed, starved, murdered, forced to escape their home, in the most horrific conditions, and all this under the alibi of the fight against terrorism. The basic rules of the international humanitarian laws are flouted day after day by the Syrian regime. And this is not acceptable.
We can’t give up and we won’t. We want to continue increasing the pressure on the regime and on those who protect them and who refuse to admit the truth. The political cost here again must be paid. And this is what this meeting is all about.
We will call for the immediate halt of the bombings and the military actions under way in Eastern Aleppo. We will make clear that the basic rules are not respected there. We will finally call for the restoration of the political process. As you know my Minister, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, will hold a ministerial meeting in Paris on 10 December to refuse this total war in Aleppo and promote a negotiated political solution in Syria. Because that is where we are now, in a total war strategy that leads to a humanitarian disaster also is a strategic mistake - in that what is happening in Aleppo will only fuel chaos and terrorism. Not only it is not a way in our views to combat terrorism, but it is a mechanic way, automatic way, to fuel radicalization and terrorism.
And then who will pay the price? The civilians in Aleppo of course, the civilians in Syria and in the region also, because they will get both Assad and ISIL. It is not either/or, they will get both Assad and ISIL. And the European countries, France among them, are also under threat from terrorism. As you know, we have paid a heavy price already. And so for us, let’s be clear, it is also a national security priority.
Q: When do you expect this emergency meeting to be? Will France push for the emergency meeting?
The emergency meeting of the Security Council will happen in few minutes, and the emergency meeting of the countries willing to promote a political solution in Syria will happen under the leadership of my Minister, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in Paris on 10 December .
Q: Will France be ready to push for a referring of Assad to the ICC for his crimes against humanity and war crimes he committed in Syria?
We have always said time and again that accountability is a key dimension in the Syrian conflict; that what we see in Aleppo targeting civilians, targeting hospitals and health care personnel constitute war crimes. And those who are responsible for these war crimes will have to be accountable. There is no doubt about it.
Q: On North Korea, are you looking for implementation of this new resolution given that China (…) is one of the biggest importers of North Korea (..) increased its support after 2070? (Inaudible)
As I said there was a great deal of efforts, consultations, good faith negotiations with respect to North Korea. I think we have now a good and a strong resolution that we are about to vote. So to answer your question I believe everybody is on board, that was the goal. And now I think we have the tools to implement this resolution.