16 November 2016 - The situation in Syria is getting again worse and worse every day
Antonio Guterres / Ban Ki-moon/Syria - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 16 November 2016
First of all, I was in Paris on Monday to attend a visit of Antonio Guterres, who was there to meet with French President François Hollande and with our Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. The meetings went very well, with in-depth discussions on the main challenges the UN are facing. There was a strong and striking convergence of views between Antonio Guterres and the French authorities and a commitment of course to continue the excellent relationship, excellent partnership between France and United Nations.
And for your information, I will be back in Paris tonight actually since Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will pay its last visit to France tomorrow and Friday. He will meet with the President, with Foreign Minister Ayrault and he will be awarded the rank of Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur, Grand Officer of the French Legion of Honor, a very exceptional award, one of France’s very highest and one of the most coveted distinctions in the world. That was my first point.
Second point, I wanted to say a word on Aleppo. Because the situation there and in Syria in general is getting again worse and worse every day. The resumption of strikes by the Syrian regime and its allies against medical facilities and civilians is unbearable. War crimes are being committed. We strongly condemn all these actions. Three hospitals have been targeted since Monday in Northern Syria. More than 30 people were killed in Aleppo, including children. So once again, the Syrian regime and its allies are violating the most basic rules of international and humanitarian law.
In this respect, the fact that the third committee was able yesterday to adopt this resolution on Syria, that we France co-sponsored by the way, is very positive. It sends a clear signal to the regime and its allies that they must stop their indiscriminate attacks against Syrian people and be accountable. So this is in our view a positive step in keeping up the political pressure that we want to maintain and increase vis a vis the regime and its allies.
One message that is very important especially now: make no mistake about it, bombing Aleppo and its population is not fighting against terrorism as the regime pretends. What the regime and its allies are doing in Aleppo is actually fueling terrorism, is fuelling radicalization and therefore terrorism. And we, France, know what we are talking about. We paid a very heavy price a year ago in Paris, almost to the day, on November 13th. So it is a national security priority for us.
May I just take the opportunity to remind you that the review The Lancet will publish on Friday an article that I have co-written with a well-known French Anthropologist, Laëtitia Atlani-Duault, on Aleppo, just to try to see how important the stakes of what is happening in Aleppo are for the UN and its credibility.
On the JIM, just one word. We are hopeful to get a resolution before the end of the week.
Q: Has it been circulated yet? Have you seen it?
We have some ideas.
Q: For how long?
We believe that the JIM’s work is very important, we believe that the work that they have already done is critically important, very professional, indispensable. So the Security Council needs to stay united on this. It’s even more important because it’s not only about Syria, it’s about the future of the regime of non-proliferation. So for these two reasons, this is a top priority for us to renew the JIM.