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Official speeches and statements - August 24, 2021

Published on August 24, 2021

1. Afghanistan - Welcoming people evacuated from Afghanistan to France - Evacuation flights on 24 August 2021 - Press release (Paris, 24/08/2021)

The evacuation operations begun on 16 August are continuing.

An eighth and ninth flight, transporting more than 450 people, including a large majority of Afghans, arrived at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport today, early and late morning.

Since the operations began, nearly 100 French people and more than 1,500 Afghans have reached French soil.

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for the Armed Forces, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry for Solidarity and Health are ensuring optimal conditions for welcoming the people as soon as they arrive in France. Medical-psychological and practical support is being offered straight away. Fast-track procedures have been put in place to issue visas to nationals of other countries, following the necessary checks and with a view to guaranteeing domestic security.

Regarding the health situation, the way the welcome is being organized is in keeping with health regulations in force in France:

- in the absence of a full course of vaccination, COVID-19 screening tests will automatically be carried out, and the people welcomed will have to comply with a 10-day quarantine period (Afghanistan is currently a red-list country);

- COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered.

Afghans who would like to remain in France in the long term will be supported in practical and administrative ways with their asylum applications. They will benefit from specialist support with their residence permit applications and integration processes.

In this regard, we should emphasize the active role being played - under the supervision of the Inter-ministerial Delegate for the Reception and Integration of Refugees (DIAIR) - by voluntary organizations funded by the State: in particular France Terre d’Asile, but also Adoma, Aurore, CeCler, Coallia, France Horizon, Habitat et Humanisme, Viltaïs, Forum Réfugiés and Groupe SOS, whether it be during this operation or during the many evacuations previously carried out (since May 2021, 623 local recruits, representing 152 families, have been evacuated to France, and between 2012 and 2019, 800 French-army auxiliaries, accompanied by family members, have been brought here).

The situation in Kabul is still complex. All the State services concerned and the French Embassy on the ground remain fully mobilized to ensure further flight rotations. Two additional flights are expected to take place in the next 24 hours./.

2. United Nations - Yemen - Statement by Ms Nathalie Broadhurst, deputy permanent representative of France to the United Nations, chargée d’affaires a.i., to the Security Council (New York, 23/08/2021)

(Translation from French)

Thank you, Mr. President.

And I would also like to thank Khaled Khiari, Martin Griffiths and Henrietta Fore for their presentations.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all the work done by Martin Griffiths as Special Envoy and to thank him for all this work, and I wish him all the best in his new position. I also welcome the presence of Henrietta Fore: the situation of children in the armed conflict in Yemen deserves the full attention of this Council.

Mr. President,

we have always argued that only a political solution would end the war in Yemen. Today, however, the Houthis are refusing any solution.

Instead of making peace, they continue their attacks against Marib and against the Saudi territory. We condemn those attacks in the strongest terms.

Instead of preventing an ecological, humanitarian and economic catastrophy, they continue to blackmail by refusing the United Nations inspection mission access to the SAFER oil tanker. It is unacceptable. This situation has been going on for over a year now. The Houthis must allow the UN access without preconditions and without any further delay.

Instead of allowing Yemeni children to go back to school, they are recruiting them into summer camps and using them massively on the battlefields.

We strongly condemn these actions and call on the Houthis to stop them. We call for full compliance with the resolutions of the Security Council, its conclusions on Children and Armed Conflict and international humanitarian law. Our Council must stand ready to take the necessary measures. The Houthis must also engage in good faith in a dialogue on a political solution with the new Special Envoy, Hans Grundberg. He can of course will be able to count on France’s full support.

Mr. President,

We know the parameters of a solution to end the crisis in Yemen: a comprehensive ceasefire, the re-opening of Sana’a airport and of the port of Hodeïda, and discussions on a comprehensive and inclusive political solution that allows for the effective participation of women.

In this Council, we have also repeatedly expressed our concerns about potential threats to Yemen’s territorial integrity. We strongly reiterate that it must be fully respected.

While the Houthis refuse peace, the Yemeni people continue to suffer.

We must do all we can to alleviate the suffering of 20 million people who depend on humanitarian assistance as Martin Griffiths reminded us, including more than 4 million displaced people, including nearly 2 million children. The risk of large-scale famine increases every day and we have a collective responsibility and a moral duty to avoid the continuation of this humanitarian tragedy.

Every effort must also be made to accelerate the Covid-19 vaccination campaign and provide equitable access to the vaccine.

It is therefore more essential than ever to guarantee full, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access to all those in need, particularly in all areas controlled by the Houthis.

Finally, and we cannot repeat this enough, the protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical personnel, must remain an absolute imperative. Arbitrary detentions, torture, gender-based and sexual violence as well as the recruitment and use of children in hostilities are intolerable. There will be no impunity for the perpetrators of violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Mr. President,

France will remain fully mobilized to put an end to the war in Yemen and to ease tensions in the region. This Council has issued clear and unanimous demands ; it is time that they are heard.

Thank you./.