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Official speeches and statements - October 28, 2022

Published on October 28, 2022

1. Israel - Palestinian Territories - Joint statement by the foreign ministry spokespersons of France, Germany, Italy and Spain (Paris - October 26, 2022)

We are highly alarmed by the ongoing tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. In 2022, more than 120 Palestinians and over 20 Israelis have been killed; many more have been wounded. We also see with great concern the rise of violence, including from settlers. Against this backdrop, it is now paramount to avoid further escalation. We thus urge all parties to refrain from any provocations and unilateral actions, to actively reduce tension and to restore calm.

Israel has the right to defend itself against armed attacks and to hold perpetrators accountable. In so doing it must respect the principles of international law and international humanitarian law. Palestinian security control in area A must be facilitated and effective security coordination restored.

The current tensions are a dire reminder of the necessity of resuming political efforts to achieve the two-State solution, the only solution to permanently guarantee Israelis and Palestinians a life in peace and security.

2. United Nations - Ukraine - Biological - Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York - October 27, 2022)

[translation from French]

Mr. President,

I thank Mr. Elbo for his presentation.

France condemns this umpteenth attempt by Russia to make us forget that it is violating the United Nations Charter. Once again, Russia is using the Security Council as a propaganda platform.

It repeats that there are offensive biological programs in Ukraine. Let’s be serious and get back to the facts. The United Nations has made it clear on several occasions, and still today, that it has no information on this subject ; none.

The States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention met in Geneva in September to discuss the so-called evidence provided by Russia. The evidence was examined in detail and technically proven to be untrue. It is clear that the procedure of open consultations under Article V of the Convention is no longer necessary.

But what Russia is asking for today is to set up an ad hoc commission to investigate the same unfounded allegations that are clearly not supported by any serious evidence.

Mr. President,

Russia is once again confusing the issue. It seeks to distract the attention of the international community, and its own people, from the catastrophic reality of its war of aggression.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Russia has spread lies to cover its own responsibility. Everyone knows that it is Russia, not Ukraine, that has used chemical weapons in recent years and that for years it has covered up the Syrian regime’s use of them against its own population.

We are very concerned that this disinformation campaign may be a prelude to the use of a weapon of mass destruction in Ukraine. Allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb, which are clearly false, reinforce our concern. No one would be fooled by an attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation. Let me be clear: we reject any pretext for escalation on the part of Russia.

The Russian rhetoric is dangerous, and all the more irresponsible because it comes from a state that is a depository of the Biological Weapons Convention and is part of Moscow’s instrumentalization of the convention. We must focus all our efforts on safeguarding and implementing this Convention so that these shocking weapons are never used in the future.

Thank you.

3. United Nations - Sudan - South Sudan - Statement by Mrs. Isis Jaraud-Darnault, political coordinator of the French Mission to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York - October 27, 2022)

[translation from French]

Mr. President,

I thank Ms. Martha Pobee and Ms. Hanna Tetteh for their interventions.

I welcome the participation of Sudan and South Sudan in this meeting.

I would like to emphasize three points.

We are concerned about the changing nature of inter-communal violence, with clashes between Ngok and Twic Dinka. This violence goes hand in hand with an increase in attacks against peacekeepers, which are also unacceptable. We call on Sudan and South Sudan to reduce these tensions.

Both countries are bound by the status of force agreement. They must allow UNISFA to fulfill its mandate safely throughout its areas of deployment. I am referring to the support to the border monitoring and verification mechanism, the JBVMM, but also the use to the Athony air strip.

These difficulties demonstrate that the status quo in Abyei is a dangerous gamble. At any moment, accumulated tensions and the fragility of institutions can lead to escalation.

We call on Khartoum and Juba to take advantage of their warming relations to settle the final status of Abyei. At a minimum, it should be possible to meet the basic needs of the population and reduce inter-communal tensions. In this regard, we welcome the agreement signed on October 24 in Khartoum and call for its implementation.

UNISFA can support a positive dynamic through its peacebuilding activities and its support to the community protection committees. To scale up this approach, the appointment of a deputy head of UNISFA and the deployment of UN police units must be unlocked.

The stalemate in Abyei reflects the fragility of a region where crises are multiplying and lasting.

A year has passed since the October 25, 2021 coup in Sudan. This political crisis continues to hamper the peace process in Darfur and the settlement of the status of Abyei. It also hampers the response to inter-communal violence, which has recently resurfaced in a worrying way in West Kordofan and Blue Nile. France reiterates its call to all parties to identify a way out of the political crisis and to make progress toward the formation of a credible civilian government.

In South Sudan, the priority must remain to accelerate the implementation of the 2018 peace agreement. We encourage the authorities to put unity first and accelerate the implementation of security arrangements, in line with the roadmap adopted last August.

Finally, we encourage the countries of the region to resolve their differences through dialogue, whether it is Abyei, the El-Fashaga triangle, the Renaissance Dam, or the conflict in Tigray. In this context, we reiterate our support to Special Envoy Hanna Tetteh and we are in favor of strengthening the resources of her team.

Thank you.