17 November 2016 - Syria: We must ensure that these crimes will be subject to sanctions [fr]
Syria/Chemical weapons - Explanation of vote by Ms. Anne Gueguen, First Political Counsellor at the French Permanent Mission to the United Nations - Security Council - 17 November 2016
France welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2319 (2016), which makes it possible to renew the mandate of the joint mechanism for the investigation and attribution of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, known as the Joint Investigative Mechanism, for one year.This is a time of unity on the Syrian issue which deserves to be welcomed and which, beyond our divisions as to the resolution of the conflict, represents a strong signal of our desire to together bring an end to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Given the latest conclusions of the Joint Investigative Mechanism , which are compelling, confirming the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and by Da’esh, and while other cases of use of chemical agents against the civilian population continue to be reported, it is necessary to allow the Mechanism to continue its work. The gravity of the facts established by the Joint Investigative Mechanism could not leave any room for political divisions. The Security Council established the Mechanism unanimously last year, and it is up to us, out of common agreement, to extend its existence, which is more justified than ever.
It is also a strong signal sent to those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Their crimes will continue to be clearly and rigorously established. We are therefore responding to a requirement of justice and, by ensuring the renewal of the Mechanism, we are sending a message of deterrence to all parties involved in the Syrian conflict. It is also an expression of the recognition of the international community for the remarkable work of the Mechanism.
The renewal of the Joint Investigative Mechanism, the strengthening of its resources and the continuation of its work are necessary. That much is clear, but our action cannot stop there. We cannot tolerate the flagrant violation of the universal standard of banning the use of chemical weapons; otherwise, we would bear the intolerable risk of trivializing such actions.
Given such a serious challenge and given this violation of the non-proliferation regime, the Council must take action. We must draw all the consequences from the conclusions of the reports established by the Mechanism, and we must ensure that these crimes will be subject to judicial proceedings and sanctions. As the French authorities have already said on many occasions, France hopes that the Security Council will be in a position to soon adopt a resolution to punish those responsible for chemical attacks identified by the Joint Investigative Mechanism.