The Security Council adopts a resolution condemning the use of chlorine gas in Syria (03/06/2015) [fr]
Adoption of resolution 2209 on the use of chlorine gas as a weapon of war in the conflict in Syria - Explanation of vote by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 6 March 2015
I would like to thank the United States delegation for having prepared resolution 2209 (2015), on the use of chlorine gas as a weapon of war in the conflict in Syria. France co-sponsored and voted in favor of this important resolution for several reasons. First of all, a year and a half after the adoption resolution 2118 (2013), the Security Council could not remain silent in the face of the horror and the unacceptable character of the attacks using chemical weapons that have continued in Syria in 2014. Today’s resolution therefore sends a very strong and clear message against the use of chemical toxins as a weapon of war in Syria, by any party.
The various investigations of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that have confirmed that chlorine gas has been used as a weapon of war in Syria, along with troubling details on the systematic presence of helicopters during these attacks, are profoundly worrisome. We know that only the Al-Assad regime has such capacities. It is indeed a tragic irony that it is just as the removal and destruction of almost all of the chemical weapons stockpiles having been declared by Syria is being completed that a toxic material not specifically banned by the Convention on Chemical Weapons has been used against the civilian population.
Secondly, through resolution 2209 (2015), the Security Council supports the important work under way in The Hague by OPCW experts aiming to shed light on the allegations on the use of chemical toxic substances in Syria. However, the allegations are continuing and we should maintain a high level of vigilance to events in Syria and urge the Syrian authorities to cooperate fully with the inquiry.
Finally, we hope that the adoption of resolution 2209 (2015) by the Security Council will send a clear message of deterrence on the ground to all the parties to the Syrian conflict. The Security Council cannot and will not stand idly by in the face of violations of resolution 2118 (2013). It commits through this resolution to taking the necessary steps under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations against any party that continues to violate this ban and to continue to seek to bring to Justice all those responsible for such crimes. As we commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the tragic battle of Ypres, where my country, Europe and the world discovered the horror of chemical war, we have a duty to reassert that never again shall such weapons be used.
I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.
The representative the Russian Federation has requested take the floor to make a further statement.