21 June 2016 - ’We are concerned about the humanitarian situation in Fallujah’
Iraq - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, President of the Security Council - 21 June 2016
One word now on the discussions that we had on Fallujah. We had a discussion with SRSG Ian Kubis on the situation in Iraq, and in Fallujah in particular.
The members of the Council have welcomed the successful counteroffensive against Daesh achieved by the Iraqi forces with the help of the coalition. Daesh has lost 45% of the territory it used to control at the peak of its expansion.
We— the members of the Council — expressed our concern regarding the humanitarian situation in Fallujah and in the region, in particular the situation of the tens of thousands of people displaced because of the fighting.
And finally, the members of the Council have called on all the parties to respect their obligations regarding international humanitarian law. It is crucial that the Iraqi state makes sure that no exaction nor retaliation be committed against civilian population by paramilitary groups.
So these were the few elements that I personally draw as President of the Council from the constructive meeting that we had on Fallujah at the request of the American delegation.
Q: On Yemen, it was announced while you were meeting that the SG is now going to go to Koweit to meet the two parties. How do you think having someone of that stature there, speaking to the two sides? Is it going to help push forward the process? And on Fallujah, given the number of people involved, given the temperatures involved in the desert there, what can you see coming in terms of humanitarian assistance? What needs to come soon?
A: On Yemen I think the key word is “convergence”. We’ve had a strong convergence within the Security Council, that’s what I told you, and that’s why I believe that in themselves, these elements to the press are important. They show that the Security Council is united on this very important topic, obviously the SG’s efforts are also very important and so the key now is to promote and support the Special Envoy’s efforts to bring the parties together in Koweit and to get some results. So the important element today is that we have a strong unity and strong backing by the Security Council to these efforts and this is politically something that counts.
Now on Fallujah what I told you in a very simple way is that there is unity here again within the Security Council to welcome the victory against Daesh in Fallujah, that’s one point ; but at the same time, real concern about the humanitarian situation there and the moral and political obligation that we all have as foreign countries supporting Iraq, to help especially through humanitarian means, those in need. Not only that, but also to make sure that the Iraqi government does its share of course, and that those who had to flee from the fighting in Fallujah and around Fallujah will not suffer twice. And that’s again an obligation we all have.