21 April 2012 - Security Council - Syria - Explanation of vote by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
We welcome the unanimous adoption of resolution 2043 (2012), which establishes the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, with a mandate of monitoring the cessation of violence and the full implementation of the Joint Special Envoy’s six-point proposal. After so many months of obstruction, Syria must understand the unanimous message being sent by the international community as well as the meaning of its commitments to put an end to an intolerable situation.
One week ago, we adopted a resolution providing for the deployment of an advance observation mission (resolution 2042 (2012)). After 13 months of senseless, bloody repression, which has produced more than 11,000 dead and has destabilized the entire region, a strengthened mission is absolutely essential. It should be deployed as soon as possible.
The adoption of today’s resolution, however, should not lead us to forget that the situation on the ground remains worrying owing to the refusal of Damascus to genuinely meet its commitments. As the Secretary-General emphasized in his letter to the Council last Thursday (S/2012/238), the Syrian authorities have not implemented the measures to be immediately put in place, as they committed to the Joint Special Envoy to do. They Syrian army has only given the impression of having retreated. Bombardment and firing with heavy weapons continues.
The deployment of the first observers in Syria has in no way changed the regime’s lethal behaviour. Homs and Idlib continue to pay the heavy price of unbridled repression. In Dar’a and Duma, snipers are continuing their heinous deeds. Throughout the entire country, as it has done for 13 months, the regime is continuing its bloody repression of demonstrations, to carry out torture, arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances and sexual violence. The humanitarian urgency is greater than ever. By its daily nefarious actions the Syrian regime is violating the decisions of the Security Council and demonstrating its contempt for it, as well as for the Joint Special Envoy and, more generally, the entire international community. Against that backdrop, we know that we are taking a risk in voting for today’s resolution. We believe that Mr. Annan’s plan is a last opportunity for peace that we should not miss. That is the reason that France supported the adoption of resolution 2043 (2012). We did so with determination and without illusions.
As the Secretary-General has said, in order to fully carry out its mandate, this Mission should be provided with significant personnel, who should be deployed as soon as possible to cover all the regions affected by the developments. The observers must have full freedom of movement. Any obstruction by the Syrian authorities is to be reported to the Security Council.
In implementation of resolution 2043 (2012), the Syrian authorities must ensure the security of observers while guaranteeing that there is no hindrance to their deployment throughout the country, in their contacts with the population or in their communications; nor are there to be any reprisals of any sort against the population. In that regard, I should like to underscore that the use of air transport is absolutely crucial to the success of the Mission. It is only under those conditions that the observers will be able to effectively carry out their duties. France will remain vigilant vis-à-vis its demand for Syria’s full cooperation with the observation Mission. I would like to recall that our goal in deploying the Mission is not just an end to repression; above all, it is the launching of a political transition in Syria towards a democratic system, so that the Syrian people can at last freely choose their destiny. Both of those must move ahead in tandem. We can wait no longer. More civilians are dying with each passing day. The observers must be deployed now and must be able to work without obstruction. Violence must stop. The Annan plan must be comprehensively implemented, in particular when it comes to the freedom to demonstrate, which must be fully observed. We will judge the Government of Syria on its actions. The observers should be able to tell us whether Syria’s obligations are properly being met. Were that not to be the case, we will have to consider other options, including possible sanctions available to the Security Council and the international community.