Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - March 1, 2017)
• United Nations – Harlem Désir’s participation in the 34th session of the Human Rights Council (Geneva - March 1, 2017)
• Indian Ocean – Jean-Marie Le Guen’s participation in the 32nd Council of Ministers of the Indian Ocean Commission (Réunion - March 1, 2017)
• Mali – Installation of an interim authority for the Kidal region (February 28, 2017)
• Armenia / EU – Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement
• Yemen – Use of child soldiers
France, together with the United States and the United Kingdom, presented to the UN Security Council a draft resolution aimed at imposing sanctions on the perpetrators of the chemical attacks in Syria confirmed by the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM). Russia decided to veto this text. We bear a heavy responsibility toward the Syrian people and the rest of humanity.
By adopting the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the international community sought to banish once and for all the development, production, stockpiling and use of such weapons of mass destruction. This non-proliferation regime must be preserved at all costs. It has a key role to play in ensuring peace and international security.
The use of chemical weapons by the regime and by Daesh in Syria, including against civilian populations, is intolerable. The crimes of those who choose to use such weapons must not go unpunished. This is why France took the initiative, together with its partners, to present this draft resolution. It deeply regrets the fact that the Security Council was not able to present a united front in order to draw the consequences of such acts.
France will not resign itself to the brutality that continues to be unleashed on the Syrian people. It will continue its efforts, together with its partners, to combat impunity and the use of chemical weapons. It would like the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to remain fully mobilized in this regard.
Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will take part in the 34th session of the Human Rights Council today in Geneva.
He will reaffirm France’s commitment to the universality of human rights and will reaffirm our support for the Human Rights Council. For the period 2018-2020, France is a candidate for a new term in this forum, which helps to mobilize the international community in the face of the most serious situations.
Harlem Désir will take part in the high-level panel on the death penalty. He will meet with the UN high commissioner for human rights, the director-general of the United Nations Office at Geneva, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the president of the International Federation of Human Rights.
Jean-Marie Le Guen, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, will chair the Council of Ministers of the Indian Ocean Commission today in Saint-Denis-de-La-Réunion.
This Council meeting will provide an opportunity to take stock of the French presidency which focused on three priorities: security, environmental protection and connectivity.
Following the Council meeting, France will hand over the presidency of the organization to the Republic of Mauritius.
France welcomes the installation of an interim authority in the Kidal region on February 28.
This constitutes further progress toward implementing the peace and reconciliation agreement and should ensure better political representation of the populations in northern Mali. It represents an important step toward restoring the authority of the Malian state throughout the country.
France encourages the signatory parties to continue implementing the Algiers agreements, notably with respect to the installation of interim authorities in all regions of northern Mali. It will continue to lend its support to efforts to promote peace, security and development in Mali.
France welcomes the conclusion of negotiations on the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement announced by European Council President Donald Tusk during Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian’s visit to Brussels on February 27-28.
Finalized a few days ahead of President Sarkisian’s official visit to France on March 8-9, this agreement responds to the Armenian president’s call in May 2014 to strengthen ties between the EU and his country.
This agreement will step up the political dialogue between the EU and Armenia on our shared commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It will facilitate expanded cooperation on energy, transportation and the environment. It will create new opportunities for trade and investment while protecting French and European geographical indications.
France condemns the use of child soldiers by the Houthis, a practice documented by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
France calls on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to abide by international law, which prohibits the use of children in armed conflicts. As part of the 10th anniversary of the Paris Principles and Commitments, on February 21 we joined with UNICEF in hosting the international conference on "Protecting Children from War," on the fate of children in armed conflicts.
France emphasizes the urgent need to find a political solution that alone can prevent further deterioration in Yemen’s security and humanitarian situation and combat terrorism. We reiterate our full support for the efforts of UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.