Bombing of hospitals in Aleppo is war crime
Healthcare in armed conflict - Remarks to the press by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 28 September 2016
Three things, you will not be surprised.
Number one, the Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians and healthcare in conflicts could not be more timely. The two largest hospitals in Eastern Aleppo were deliberately bombed last night. Frankly if these are not war crimes, what are war crimes? Those who are responsible for such acts must be brought to justice. Impunity is not an option. And we all know this is not the first bombing of hospitals, it’s the following of a long series of such bombings.
Number two, as I said on Sunday, we cannot turn a blind eye on this. On Sunday, we called with some colleagues to implement immediately the US-Russia agreement starting in Aleppo. This means keeping the Syrian regime planes on the ground, ground them, this means re-establishing the truce starting in Aleppo, this means bringing humanitarian access and this means, very important, establishing a collective monitoring mechanism as proposed by France.
Against this backdrop, France is working on a draft resolution to impose the cease-fire in Aleppo and to bring the measures I was referring to to the package. It seems to us that it is the only way to move ahead, to move forward and to try to get a positive vote, that’s what we want, at the Security Council and to leave everybody facing his/her responsibilities.
Number three, let’s not forget what the meeting is all about. It’s about protection of medical personal, not only in Syria but beyond. And this is a very important cause. This is a top priority for my country and has been for a long time. The Secretary-General has been asked to propose specific recommendations to implement this resolution. He will tell us more on that today. And again this latest events in Syria show there is no time to waste to implement these recommendations and stop the killings of medical staff. In this respect, it is critically important to have independent and impartial reporting mechanisms. This is at the core of this resolution 2286 that we pushed very hard together with the humanitarian co-pens.
Q: When do you have to vote on the Aleppo ceasefire resolution?
It’s too early to say.
Q: Do you hope it’s before the start of the Russian Presidency, would it be easier if it’s on the New Zealand Presidency?
I understand the question but it’s not about tactics here. It’s really to try and unite the Security Council on action to impose the cease-fire on Aleppo. And number two, it’s about making sure that every member of the Security Council faces his/her responsibilities confronted with such a tragedy. But it’s not about tactics.
Q: No ICC referral?
As I said, impunity is not an option.