Official speeches and statements - May 6, 2021
We urge the Government of Israel to reverse its decision to advance the construction of 540 settlement units in the Har Homa E area of the occupied West Bank, and to cease its policy of settlement expansion across the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Settlements are illegal under international law, and threaten prospects for a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
If implemented, the decision to advance settlements in Har Homa, between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem, will cause further damage to the prospects for a viable Palestinian State, with Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian State. This move, alongside settlement advancement in Givat HaMatos and continued evictions in East Jerusalem, including in Sheikh Jarrah, also undermines efforts to rebuild trust between the parties, following the positive resumption of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation.
We call on both sides to refrain from any unilateral action and resume a credible and meaningful dialogue, to advance efforts for the two state solution and an end to the conflict.
I would like to make the following statement today on behalf of the three current EU Members of the Security Council, Estonia, France and Ireland, and the former EU Members of the Council, Belgium and Germany.
We welcome the decision adopted on April 21, 2021 by the 25th Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, addressing the possession and use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Republic. This decision, suspending certain rights and privileges of the Syrian Arab Republic under the Convention, is a proportionate and appropriate response by the Conference to the clear failure of the Syrian Arab Republic to meet its legal obligations under the Convention, more than seven years after the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2118 (2013) on the complete and verifiable destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program. We urge the Syrian Arab Republic to cooperate fully with the OPCW, to reveal the full extent of its chemical weapons program, and ensure its full compliance with the Convention.
We reiterate our full support to the OPCW, and underline the complementarity of its work with the United Nations. We have full confidence in the professionalism, impartiality and independence of the OPCW. We remain steadfast in defending the Organization against the baseless attacks on its integrity and credibility.
We fully support the OPCW in implementing the decision of States Parties, of June 2018, to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, and welcome the release of the second report of the Investigation and Identification Team to the Executive Council of the OPCW and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on April 12, 2021. We strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Air Force in Ltamenah in March 2017 and Saraqib in February 2018, as concluded by the IIT reports.
Accountability is essential to prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons by anyone - be it a State or a non-State actor - anywhere, at any time and under any circumstances, is a violation of international law and can amount to the most serious crimes of international concern - war crimes and crimes against humanity. Any use of these weapons - wherever it occurs - must be investigated, and impunity for their use must not and will not be tolerated.
We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to strengthen collective efforts to ensure accountability of perpetrators for chemical attacks including through the International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons.