Moscow is isolated on Syria and Aleppo
Yemen / Syria - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 10 October 2016
Q: Yemen? Have the Russian blocked the statement, do you think the Council should pick it up?
We are extremely worried about what happened in Yemen; you saw the reaction of the French authorities, with a strong condemnation of what happened. Then we saw yesterday that Riyadh and its partners are establishing a commission of inquiry, so it is very serious.
Q: Will the Council hold a meeting or should there be some action?
We will see.
What I had in mind is also Aleppo. The true outcome of Saturday’s sequence is Russia’s isolation. The great support, the very large support to the French-Spanish resolution but also the lack of support to the Russian resolution demonstrate that Moscow is isolated on Syria and Aleppo. In this respect, China’s abstention is very meaningful. As you know it’s the very first time in the Syrian conflict that China doesn’t join Russia in their veto. This is the very first time. There were four Russian-Chinese vetoes, it is the first veto of Russia without a veto from China. So it’s extremely meaningful, it shows Russia’s isolation on this issue.
And now what? Based on this isolation, the Saturday sequence allows us to exert maximum political pressure on Damascus and Moscow. Now the goal is to transform this pressure over Damascus and Moscow into leverage and into action to, again, stop the bloodshed in Aleppo. This is the goal. So, we do not give up, quite the contrary, we feel comforted by the outcome of Saturday.
Q: How are you going to do that? How can you go in… I mean, this will have to be outside the Security Council?
There are many ways to transform this political capital that we have, that grows only stronger after Saturday, into action and into every possible effort to stop the bloodshed.
Q: Like sanctions? War crimes? There are talks about the ICC. But I don’t really understand that, because the Council would be blocked. So is there another route that you’re working?
The Secretary-General was very clear. The Secretary-General was one of the first to speak about war crimes. And frankly when you bomb hospitals, when you bomb schools, when you kill children, if these are not war crimes, then I don’t know what war crimes are.
Q: How do you get that though? The Council will be blocked? How do you do that?
We have to be creative.