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France/UN – Mondes review - Syria

Published on May 29, 2012
Excerpt from the press briefing given by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs


Paris, May 18, 2012

France/United Nations – Meeting between M. Laurent Fabius and the UN Secretary-General

Tomorrow, 19 May, M. Laurent Fabius will visit New York, where he will meet Mr Ban Ki-moon.

This first meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General will be an opportunity for the Foreign Minister to discuss with him the crises in which the UN is involved, particularly Syria, the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Minister will also discuss preparations for the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.

Publication of the latest edition of Mondes review

The new edition of Mondes has just been published. It is devoted to the responsibility to protect. This concept, adopted in 2005, was first applied in practice during the United Nations operation in Libya last year. It is more relevant than ever now, at a time when massacres of civilians are continuing, particularly in Syria.

To discuss the responsibility to protect and the issues surrounding it, figures directly involved in considering and implementing the principle have taken up the pen. They are Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, member of the Foreign Ministry’s Policy Planning Unit; Jean-Marc Thouvenin, Professor at Paris West University Nanterre la Défense and Director of the International Law Centre in Nanterre; Nicolas de Rivière, United Nations and International Organizations Director at the Foreign Ministry; and Muriel Ubéda-Saillard, Docent at Paris West University Nanterre la Défense.

This 10th edition also contains, among other things, an interview with Stéphane Hessel entitled “Le parcours d’un indigné” and an article by Pierre Duquesne, the Ambassador for Economic Reconstruction and Development, “Palestine: l’Etat sans l’Etat”.

Mondes is a quarterly review published by the Foreign Ministry. Aimed at the French- and English-speaking public, academics and researchers, think tanks and companies, as well as the French and foreign administrations, Mondes seeks to raise awareness of the challenges of foreign policy and the thoughts and analysis of French diplomats and researchers. (…)


Q. – What’s your reaction to the Syrian President’s latest statements about France to a Russian television channel?

Such statements by Bashar al-Assad won’t make people forget that his security forces are continuing to massacre his people and that he still hasn’t begun implementing Kofi Annan’s plan. Has the violence stopped? Have the prisoners been released? Has the army withdrawn to its barracks? Has a political process got under way?

All the negative answers to these questions mean we remain fully committed to supporting the Annan plan, which must enable a political transition in Syria.

France will continue to support the Syrian people’s right to freedom and she condemns the continuation of the bloody crackdown in Syria, which has again killed several dozen people over the past few days, particularly today’s bombing of the town of Rastan.

After 14 months of crisis, Bashar al-Assad should understand that it’s the bloody crackdown conducted by his security forces that threatens to plunge Syria into a chaos prejudicial to the stability of the region. (…)./.

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