"Neither weakness nor inaction is an option"
Syria - Remarks to the press by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 30 August 2016
A few points on the reaction to the JIM report and the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Our position is that if there is one thing that must unite the Security Council, it is the fight against the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction.
And if there is one area in which weakness is not an option, this is it. So we simply have no right to fail here. This is my first message.
Secondly, the JIM report closely establishes responsibilities with respect to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. This is unprecedented in such a way in the history of the UN. This is why neither weakness nor inaction is an option. Beyond the situation in Syria, what is at stake here is the future of the non-proliferation regime, which is a backbone of international peace and security. What is also at stake is the credibility of the Security Council and of the UN System. Each of us will be accountable for it.
This is why France favors a quick and strong Security Council response, based on two elements:
One, renewing the JIM mandate for one year at least and giving it increased and broader investigative means than those provided by Resolution 2235 last year ;
And number two, imposing sanctions on those who are responsible for these acts – which are constitutive of war crimes and crimes against humanity. So we need a resolution and we need a resolution with teeth.
The fight against WMD (weapons of mass destruction) is an existential fight that must transcend differences in the Security Council over Syria. That is why it is so critically important for all the members of the Security Council to join forces in this fight. This must be our common fight.