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Official speeches and statements - July 12, 2021

Published on July 12, 2021

1. Human Rights - Abolition of the Death Penalty - 30th anniversary of the entry into force of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - July 11, 2021)

On the 30th anniversary of the entry into force of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, France calls on all States to ratify the Protocol, with a view to the universal abolition of the death penalty.

With this year marking the 40th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty in France, France reiterates its firm, steadfast opposition to capital punishment everywhere and in all circumstances. It calls on all States applying the punishment to observe a moratorium with a view to its definitive abolition.

2. United Nations - Syria - Resolution on the cross-border aid mechanism - Explanation of vote in national capacity by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations, at the Security Council (New York - July 9, 2021)

[translation from French]

France is relieved that the cross-border humanitarian mechanism in Syria has been renewed for twelve months. Today, there is no alternative to this mechanism to provide day by day vital assistance to thousands of people. Indeed, the Syrian regime continues to use humanitarian assistance for political ends. We welcome the tireless efforts of Norway and Ireland to reach a compromise.

But let us be lucid: the mechanism we have just renewed is and will be insufficient to meet humanitarian needs.

We regret that the Bab al-Salam and al-Yaroubiyah crossings were not reopened, even though since last year humanitarian needs have increased by more than 20% in the North-West and by 38% in the North-East.

I want to make it clear that our position and that of our European partners remains unchanged: we will not finance reconstruction and we will not lift sanctions as long as a credible political process is not firmly underway, in accordance with Resolution 2254 adopted unanimously by this Council.

Nor will we finance development efforts that would contribute to strengthening the Syrian regime in the absence of progress towards a political solution. Nothing in this resolution can be interpreted as a change in our well-known positions on this topic. We will however continue to fully assume our responsibilities on the humanitarian front, in the spirit of the Secretary-General’s "principles and parameters" on UN assistance in Syria.

Furthermore, nothing in this resolution can be interpreted as implying the transmission of data concerning the beneficiaries of assistance or humanitarian partners, which are not meant to be rendered public.

Finally, we reaffirm our commitment to the full respect of the neutrality and impartiality of humanitarian organizations. It is in the interest of no one to mention impartial and neutral humanitarian organizations in a resolution, in such a politicized context.

Lastly, I would like to add that the fact that this resolution was put to a vote without being available in all official languages should not be considered a precedent.

Thank you.