MIL-OSI Europe: Official speeches and statements – June 30, 2022


Source: France-Diplomatie – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development

1. United Nations – Iran – Non-proliferation (Iran – Implementation of resolution 2231) – Joint stakeout by France, Germany and the United Kingdom (New York – June 30, 2022)

The Security Council remains seized of the threat to international security from Iran’s continued nuclear escalation. Iran’s nuclear program is now more advanced than at any point in the past.

Iran has been taking unprecedented steps to accelerate the pace of its nuclear program in the past three years and continues to escalate unabatedly. Some of the most serious steps have been taken during the negotiation process aimed at returning Iran to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) and the U.S. to the deal.

Intensive diplomatic efforts to restore the JCPoA have resulted in a viable deal being on the table since early March. We regret that up until now Iran has refused to seize this diplomatic opportunity and continued its nuclear escalation

Recently, Iran announced the installation and use of additional powerful advanced centrifuges and the removal of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s JCPoA-related surveillance and monitoring equipment. This occurs in the deeply concerning context of Iran continuing to increase its stockpiles of uranium enriched at 20% and 60% to unprecedented levels. The IAEA received its mandate to verify and monitor JCPoA implementation directly from the UN Security Council. Iran’s complete termination of key JCPoA-related transparency measures is therefore a particularly negative, counterproductive and provocative step, which this Council cannot remain silent on.

Iran’s actions raise further obstacles for Iran to return to full implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPoA, and to restore the Agency’s ability to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran’s actions are rapidly unsettling the balance of the package we had negotiated over many months to restore the JCPoA and closing the window for an immediate diplomatic solution. The impact on international security and the international non-proliferation regime of such an outcome would be grave and long lasting.

We call upon Iran to stop and reverse its nuclear escalation, return to full cooperation with the IAEA and seize without further delay the offer on the table, which would benefit the Iranian people and nation.

We express full support for the efforts of the JCPoA Coordinator to restore the JCPoA. Iran should take this opportunity to conclude the deal, while it is still possible. Unfortunately, it is our understanding that at the meeting which ended yesterday in Doha, Iran once again refused to seize the opportunity and, instead, made new extraneous and unrealistic demands.

Today, the Security Council also will discuss key developments of Iran’s missile program, which are inconsistent with UN Security Council resolution 2231. The Council will call upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology. Only a few days ago, Iran conducted another test of a space launch vehicle, which contains dual use technology that can be used to construct long-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles. We urge Iran to refrain from such provocative actions. We strongly condemn Iran’s continued destabilizing activity in the region and we call upon Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities and proliferation inconsistent with UNSCR 2231 and other UNSC resolutions.

We also fully support the efforts of the Secretary General to examine and report any evidence of transfers of items, materials, equipment, goods and technology or related services inconsistent with UNSCR 2231.

2. United Nations – Democratic Republic of Congo – Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York – June 30, 2022)

[translation from French]

Mr. President,

France welcomes the adoption of the resolution renewing the sanctions regime and the mandate of the panel of experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Security Council met yesterday to discuss the situation in the country, which continues to deteriorate. Armed groups continue to attack civilians, security forces and MONUSCO. Violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, attacks on humanitarian workers and the looting of natural resources continue.

The Security Council must be able to sanction those responsible for the instability in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The sanctions regime will now include a new designation criterion to combat the increasing use of improvised explosive devices.

In adopting this resolution, our Council welcomes the diplomatic efforts of the States of the region and the conclaves held in Nairobi. It notes the commitments made there to contribute to reconciliation, stabilization and the preservation of peace.

France has heard the requests of the Democratic Republic of Congo concerning the notification procedure for supplies of military equipment and assistance. This is why, in order to support the capacity building and reform of the Congolese armed forces, this resolution significantly eases this procedure. It does not call into question the arms embargo on armed groups active in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

France regrets that this step forward, which is admittedly partial but reflects the balance of positions in the Security Council, was not unanimously supported. We hope that the measures remaining in force can evolve in the future in line with national efforts to combat arms trafficking and the spread of arms.

I thank you.

3. United Nations – Syria – Statement by Mr. Wadid Benaabou, Deputy Political Coordinator of France at the United Nations at the Security Council (New York – June 28, 2022)

[translation from French]

Mr. President,

I thank Geir Pedersen and Omar Alshogre for their interventions.

The regime in Damascus continues to oppress Syrians as the war continues.

The evidence gathered on the Tadamon massacre in April 2013 leaves no doubt about the repeated and organized war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Syrian regime.

With regard to the amnesty decree decided unilaterally by the regime, we note that no verification has yet been possible by the United Nations: no figures or lists have been shared. Under these conditions, this amnesty has no reality and is not a first step. I would remind you that 120,000 people are still being held in the regime’s jails. The regime has also adopted a new law on cybercrime which allows it to make new arbitrary arrests. Furthermore, I would like to recall that the regime’s systematic use of sexual and gender-based violence in detention facilities, including against returning refugees, has been documented by the UN and civil society. Taken together, these facts show that it is futile to believe that normalization with the regime could create stability in Syria or in the region.

I would add that the announcements about a possible Turkish military operation in northern Syria are worrying. Nothing should be done that would aggravate the crisis in that country and threaten the stability of the region as well as the efforts of the international coalition in the fight against Daech.

Mr. President,

No lasting peace will be possible without a solid political process.

The latest meetings of the constitutional committee have not led to any tangible progress. The regime would now like the meetings not to be held in Geneva, even though the venue is agreed by the Syrians – all Syrians, including the opposition – and is included in the terms of reference of the Constitutional Committee. We can only denounce this new tactic of obstruction. It is a crude maneuver to turn the Constitutional Committee into an empty shell. We urge the parties and their allies to do their utmost to move forward in good faith and allow the negotiation and drafting work to begin in earnest.

As we say every month, without a political solution that is solidly in place and verifiable on the basis of Resolution 2254, French and European positions will remain unchanged on the lifting of sanctions, reconstruction and normalization.

As you know, France will continue its relentless fight against impunity in Syria. Those responsible, particularly for war crimes and crimes against humanity, must be held accountable for their actions. This is essential to build a lasting peace.

Finally, France’s position is clear: at a time when humanitarian needs have never been so great, a renewal of the cross-border mechanism for at least twelve months is essential, as requested by the Secretary-General, UN agencies and NGOs. I call on all members of the Council to show unity and responsibility on this issue.

I thank you.

4. United Nations – MINUSMA – Explanation of vote by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent representative of France to the United Nations to the Security Council (New York – June 28, 2022)

[translation from French]

Mr. President,

France welcomes the renewal of the mandate of MINUSMA. The situation in Mali is fragile. Insecurity is increasing and the civilian population is the first victim. The mission of the Blue Helmets and the Malian armed forces is difficult. The country still needs MINUSMA.

During these negotiations, France listened to the positions of each member of the Council, and that of Mali. We regret, of course, the abstentions because MINUSMA needs our unanimous support.

For MINUSMA to continue its mandate, the Malian transitional authorities must also assume their responsibilities. The resolution we have just adopted contains three messages, which I would like to recall:

Obstacles to the activities of the mission and to the rotation of troops must stop. MINUSMA’s freedom of movement must be guaranteed, as this is the condition for its effectiveness.

Violations of human rights and international humanitarian law must stop. There are reports of such violations by terrorist groups but also by elements of the Malian armed forces accompanied by mercenaries from the Wagner group. MINUSMA must be given access to the areas concerned to fulfil its mandate and publish quarterly human rights reports. Those responsible for violations must be brought to justice.

Finally, the Council takes note of the announcement of a two-year extension of the transition in this resolution. But the text also calls on Mali and ECOWAS to continue their discussions with a view to an agreement on the return to constitutional order and the organization of elections. We hope that the ECOWAS Summit on Saturday 3 July will enable progress to be made in this direction. We also call for an immediate resumption of the implementation of the peace agreement, which has not progressed since October 2021. We remain convinced that this agreement is the appropriate framework for a lasting easing of the situation in Mali.

In this context, France hopes that the Secretary-General’s internal review, scheduled in six months’ time, will provide us with an in-depth analysis of the conditions in which MINUSMA can carry out its mandate, and thus draw the consequences.

I thank you.

5. United Nations – MINUSMA – Remarks to the press by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent representative of France to the United Nations (New York – June 28, 2022)

As I just said in French, the resolution we will adopt in a few minutes is important in the difficult context of Mali. Mali still needs MINUSMA, everybody agrees on this point.

This is why the resolution retains the strategic priorities at the heart of the mandate: support for the implementation of the peace agreement in the North, stabilization of the Centre and protection of civilians. It responds to Mali’s calls for MINUSMA to be more effective.

There have been many recent developments in Mali and it is necessary to take time to understand them. The text therefore calls for an internal review to determine how MINUSMA can adapt to the new context, as proposed by the Secretary-General.

For MINUSMA to continue its mandate, it is necessary that the Malian transitional authorities also take their responsibilities, allow the Mission access to its areas of operation, and continue the dialogue with ECOWAS for a return to the constitutional order.

It is therefore an important resolution that we must adopt today and we hope that the members of the Security Council will support it as widely as possible.

Thank you very much.

6. United Nations – Democratic Republic of Congo – Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York – June 28, 2022)

[translation from French]

Madam President,

I would like to thank Ms. Keïta and Ms. Lusenge for their interventions.

France supports regional efforts to stabilize the situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is deteriorating.

Civilians and Congolese security forces continue to suffer from attacks by armed groups. France condemns the ongoing offensives of the M23 and the actions of other armed groups including the Allied Democratic Forces, CODECO and the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda. MONUSCO is implementing its mandate in compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law. Attacks on the mission, which has lost nine peacekeepers this quarter, must stop and be investigated.

The process begun in Nairobi must continue. Consultations with armed groups must lead to their disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. It is essential that the regional force announced at the last conclave complements a political process. It must be coordinated with MONUSCO, while respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

France will continue to support the continuation of dialogue between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, within the framework of existing mechanisms and ongoing diplomatic initiatives. I am thinking in particular of the mediation undertaken by the President of the Republic of Angola, with the support of the African Union.

Priority must also be given to the protection of civilians.

We are witnessing a resurgence of hate speech targeting communities and individuals. MONUSCO has stepped up its prevention activities. Everyone must be committed to fighting these incitements to violence.

This has led to the displacement of thousands of people. Some armed groups are targeting these civilians by attacking camps for displaced persons. France welcomes the mobilization of MONUSCO – and in particular its reconfigured intervention brigade – to protect these camps.

In the last three months, no new armed groups have committed to the recruitment or use of children. France calls for increased efforts to prevent the unlawful recruitment and use of children. The Security Council’s sanctions regime – which we are preparing to renew – is an additional tool that should make it possible to combat those who use children in armed conflicts.

Finally, our partnerships must be strengthened to ensure sustainable development for the benefit of populations.

France welcomes the continuation of parliamentary work to prepare for the 2023 elections. The protection of democratic space, transparency, inclusiveness and the participation of women will contribute to the smooth running of these elections.

In the area of health, support for the Democratic Republic of Congo must be increased. This is why France recently donated nearly 300,000 doses of vaccine against COVID. The European Union has committed EUR 600,000 in humanitarian aid to combat an outbreak of monkeypox in Maniema province.

It is the younger generation that will build the Democratic Republic of Congo of tomorrow. To support access to education, France will provide half a million euros to the Kinshasa Digital Foundation to prepare Congolese students for higher education.

I will conclude by reaffirming France’s support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and MONUSCO. Their action serves peace in the region on a daily basis.

I thank you.

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