France stands against the use of chemical weapons in Syria [fr]
SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS
STATEMENT BY M. NICOLAS DE RIVIERE, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS,
TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL
(Translation from French)
New York, 2 September 2021
Allow me to start by congratulating the Permanent Representative of India and his team on a very successful presidency in August, and by wishing you well in your own presidency this September.
I would like to thank Ms. Nakamitsu for her presentation.
Once again, it is clear that the Syrian regime continues to evade its international obligations.
The list of blockages is long. No answers have been given to the 20 questions related to Syria’s initial declaration. France hopes that the meeting between the OPCW Director General and the Syrian regime’s Foreign Minister will make it possible to address them head on. France reiterates its concern about the unauthorized removal and destruction of two cylinders related to the Douma attacks. The Syrian regime must provide all the information requested by the OPCW Technical Secretariat to shed light on this issue. The OPCW, for its part, is ready but awaits an operational response.
The postponement of the deployment of the Initial Declaration Assessment Team until October is also damaging. The OPCW liaison officer was unable to obtain a visa to replace his predecessor who left Damascus in August, which means that the position is vacant for the second time this year. We call on the Syrian regime to quickly unblock this situation.
The regime’s non-cooperation with the OPCW is blatant and leads it into a dead end. However, as we remind you once again, the decision taken in April by the Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention is not irreversible. The rights and privileges that were suspended in April can be restored. This requires the regime to cooperate resolutely and in good faith with the OPCW, which is continuing its work in a transparent and highly professional manner.
It is of course up to this Council to ensure this cooperation. The Syrian chemical weapons issue is far from being resolved. Those who try to make us believe otherwise are not fooling anyone. I encourage the members of this Council to return to the full implementation of Resolution 2118. The security of all of us depends on it.
France will continue to work with its partners, particularily within the International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, to ensure that those responsible for chemical attacks are brought to justice.
Thank you, Madam President.