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2011 Retour à la table des matières

- On 23 June 2011, the Security Council met to hear the quarterly report of the Sanctions Committee established by resolution 1737 on Iran’s nuclear programme. The representative of France emphasized the active role of Syria in the violation of the arms embargo which had been notified to the Committee. This constituted a serious violation of Syria’s obligations vis-à-vis the Security Council, which added to the violation of its obligations to nuclear non-proliferation reported by the IAEA on 9 June 2011.

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Representative of France Briefs on Sudan and Syria- 16 June 2011-UN Photo/Mark Garten

- On 30 June 2011, the Security Council unanimously approved resolution 1994, co-sponsored by France, renewing for six months the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights. The text of the resolution had remained unchanged for many years. However, the violent incidents at the Israeli-Syrian border on 15 May and 5 June 2011, favoured by the authorities of Damascus, led the Council to adapt the text of the resolution. Resolution 1994 thus recalls the obligations of the parties to preserve the cease-fire and to cooperate fully with the operations of UNDOF.

In his explanation of vote, the French representative denounced the orchestration by Damascus of the Palestinian demonstrations on the Golan Heights and the hypocritical manipulation of the aspirations of the Palestinian people by the Syrian regime, which creates a threat to regional stability.

- On 12 July 2011, the President of the Security Council made the following statement following the attacks against the French and US embassies:

"The members of the Security Council condemn in the strongest terms the attacks against embassies in Damascus, which have resulted in damage to embassy premises and injuries to diplomatic personnel.

The members of the Security Council recall the fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic missions and the obligations on host Governments, including under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, to take all appropriate steps to protect embassy premises.

In this context, the members of the Security Council call on the Syrian authorities to protect diplomatic property and personnel."

- The Security Council met on 14 July 2011 in private consultations for initial discussions on the Syrian nuclear issue, following IAEA’s referral of this issue to the Security Council on 9 June. Council members were briefed by the IAEA, who provided the technical details which led to its conclusion of the violation by Syria of its nuclear non-proliferation obligations. During these consultations, the Permanent Representative of France said: "Syria has violated its international nuclear non-proliferation obligations".

- On 26 July 2011, the Security Council met for its quarterly public debate on the situation in the Middle East with representatives of Palestine and Israel. In his statement, the permanent representative of France referred to the situation in Syria: "For over four months now, the Syrian regime has engaged in a systematic repression of peaceful demonstrations, ignoring calls from the international community. Human rights organizations in Syria have reported nearly 1,500 dead and 12,000 political arrests. Each week brings new civilian casualties. The Special Advisors of the Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect reported on 21 July that crimes against humanity may have been committed and continue to be committed in Syria. On 11 July, the embassies of France, United States and Qatar in Damascus were attacked and the Syrian security services did not try to defend them. France condemns such acts that violate the obligations of Syria under international law. It is not through such illegal initiatives, and such gross maneuvers that the authorities in Damascus will succeed in diverting attention from the fundamental problem: the end of repression against the Syrian people and the implementation of a democratic transition. We hope that the Security Council will finally take its responsibility and condemn the violent repression suffered by the Syrian people. "

- On 1 August 2011, following the worsening of the repression, the Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss a reaction to the violent events in Syria. After long negociations, the Council adopted on 3 August 2011 a Presidential Statement condemning violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities.

- On 10 August 2011, as requested in its Presidential Statement of 1 August, the Council was briefed by the Secretariat on the situation in Syria. After the meeting, held in closed consultations, the French representative along with his European colleagues spoke to the media to underline that the Syrian regime had ignored the calls of the Security Council. He reiterated the demand that the Syrian authorities respond immediately to the calls of the Security Council, in particular by putting an end to the repression and to the violations of human rights, by implementing political reforms and allowing humanitarian access.

- On August 18, 2011, the Security Council met in closed consultations to be briefed by Lynn Pascoe,Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on the situation in Syria.

Ahead of the meeting, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released the report of a fact-finding mission mandated by the Human Rights Council to investigate the violent repression in that country. The report found "a pattern of human rights violations that constitutes widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population, which may amount to crimes against humanity". It further referred to "torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment of civilians by military and security forces" and called on the Security Council to consider referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

Following the consultations, the representatives of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal and the United States held a joint press conference. In his address, Martin Briens, Charge d’Affaires of France to the UN, noted that the the situation in Syria was appalling. The Syrian authorities had turned a deaf ear to the appeals of the international community. Their attitude and the deteriorating situation in Syria left no choice but to adopt without delay a sanctions resolution.

- On 23 August 2011, while the Council of Human Rights in Geneva had just adopted a resolution condemning the serious violations of human rights committed by the Syrian authorities, the EU members of the Security Council and the United States circulated a draft resolution with the aim of imposing international sanctions against the Syrian regime.

- On 27 September 2011, the Security Council met to hear the monthly report of Mr. Lynn Pascoe, deputy Secretary General for political affairs, in presence of Mr Najib Mikati, Lebanese Prime Minister. At the end of this session, members of the Security Council met in consultations. The European members of the Security Council have announced their intention to submit to the Council an amended draft resolution condemning repression in Syria.

- On 28 September 2011, the Permanent Representatives at the Security Council met in informal consultations to discuss an amended draft resolution circulated on 27 September by France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Portugal.

- On 4 October 2011, the Security Council was called to vote on a draft resolution presented by France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Portugal. The draft resolution condemned the repression by the Syrian authorities and indicated the Council’s readiness to consider its options, including sanctions, if its call was not heard. A majority of nine delegations voted in favour of the draft and four abstained (South Africa, Brazil, India and Lebanon). Russia and China vetoed the text, which was subsequently rejected.

In his explanation of vote, the Permanent Representative of France expressed his disappointment with an overtly political choice and his willingness to continue the efforts of France to build a unanimous reaction to stop the brutal repression carried out by the Syrian regime.

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Joint declaration to the press - Mr. Mark Lyall Grant, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom; Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France; Mr. Peter Wittig, Permanent Representative of Germany; and Mr. José Filipe Moraes Cabral , Permanent Representative of Portugal - 4 October 2011 - UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe


- On 14 October 2011, during consultations of the Security Council, the Permanent representative of France expressed concern about the situation in Syria following the calls for action by Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. "The Council, he said, cannot remain silent about the continuing repression in Syria."The advocates of inaction on Syria should draw conclusions from the latest appalling developments", he added.

- On 24 October 2011, ont the occasion of the monthly general debate of the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, the Permanent Representative of France underscored that the Syrian regime had lost its legitimacy and was leading its country into a bloodbath. Repression had to stop immediately so that Syria could engage into a peaceful process of political transition. He also insisted that the Security Council could no longer remain silent before the atrocities committed against the Syrian people by its own authorities and should put the necessary pressure on the regime of Damascus.

- On 15 November 2011, in a press statement, the Security Council condemned "in the strongest terms" the renewed attacks against foreign -including French- diplomatic and consular premises by pro-regime demonstrators in various cities of Syria . The Council underlined its "deep concern" at the repetition of such violations of international law and reminded the Syrian authorities of their obligation to protect diplomatic and consular missions on their territory.

- On 19 December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, by 122 votes in favor, 11 against and 43 abstentions, a resolution co-sponsored by France and 60 other states, which strongly condemned, in particular, "the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities, such as arbitrary executions, excessive use of force and the persecution and killing of protesters and human rights defenders, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, torture and ill treatment of detainees, including children".

After the vote, Mr. Alain Juppé, ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs expressed France’s determination, "given the extreme gravity of the situation", to pursue it efforts "in all relevant forums, to put and end to the violations of human rights and the brutality against civilians in Syria".

- On 28 November 2011, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the repression in the Syrian Arab Republic, mandated by the Human Rights Council, presented its report. The experts gathered numerous testimonies of violations of humans rights :’’summary executions, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearances, torture, including sexual violence, as well as violations of children’s rights’’. Following the presentation of this report, Mr. Alain Juppé, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, commended the quality and professionalism of the work carried out by the Commission despite the systematic obstruction by the Syrian regime. ’’This damning report, he said, brought evidence of "real crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Syrian regime against its people’’. The international community had to continue mobilizing its efforts.

- On 12 December 2011, the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear the report of Ms. Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation in Syria. In her report, Ms. Pillay indicated that the death toll had exceeded 5,000 since the protests began in March 2011. She spoke of crimes against humanity and systematic and widespread torture conducted by the Syrian security forces, including against children.

France made it clear the regime of Bashar Assad was responsible for the killings and called on the Security Council to break its scandalous silence.

- On 15 December 2011, the Security Council met to consider a draft resolution on the crackdown in Syria submitted by Russian Federation. Speaking to the media following these consultations, the permanent representative of France expressed hopes that Russia had heard the indignation of world public opinion and indicated that France would engage actively in a negotiation on this text, which was very unbalanced and deserved many amendments.

- On 21 December 2011, the Security Council approved resolution 2028 renewing for six months the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights.

2012 Retour à la table des matières

- On 10 January 2012, the Security Council heard in private consultations the report of Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe, on the worrying development of the situation in Syria despite the deployment of 165 observers of the Arab League which started on December 26 and whose first report is due on 19 January 2012. Lynn Pascoe also discussed the request of the Arab League to the United Nations to provide technical assistance for the training of these observers for which the Secretary General has agreed to on 3 January.

During remarks to the press, the French Permanent Representative highlighted the need for the Syrian regime to comply with all the requests included in the memorandum framing the deployment of the observers mission. He also stressed the urgent need to pursue the work of negotiation of the draft resolution tabled by Russia.

- On 24 January 2012, Mr. Fernandez-Taranco, Deputy Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, briefed the Security Council on his quarterly report on the situation in the Middle East, including the situation in Syria.

In his address, the Permanent Representative of France marked the support of France to the plan of the Arab League to find a political solution to the crisis. He also welcomed the request by the Arab League to give a presentation to the Security Council on the situation in the country, as it was assessed, one month after the deployment of its observer mission, that Damascus had failed to respect its obligations.

- On 27 January 2012, following the call of the Arab League for the Security Council to act on the Syrian issue, Morocco circulated a draft resolution co-sponsored by 14 other countries (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Libya, Togo, France, United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Colombia, USA). Other countries also expressed their interest in the draft resolution, condemned the violence against the population by the Syrian authorities, endorsed the crisis plan proposed by the Arab League for a peaceful transition and called the Syrian authorities to comply with its demands (cessation of violence, release of arrested protesters, withdrawal of the security forces from city centers, freedom of demonstration, freedom of movement for the representatives of the Arab League and the international media). After the meeting, the Permanent Representative of France made remarks to the press.

- On 31 January 2012, the Security Council met with Nabil Al Arabi, Secretary General of the League of Arab States and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar and President of the Council of Ministers of the Arab League, to hear their report on the situation in Syria and the implementation of the Arab League demands by the Syrian regime. France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Morocco and Guatemala were represented at ministerial level. Given the lack of progress and the persisting violences and refusal by the authorities in Damascus to meet the demands of the regional organization, Alain Juppé insisted in his statement that Security Council action could not wait and stressed that France would put all its weight with its UNSC partners to obtain the adoption of a Council resolution supporting the Arab League plan to put an end to the Syrian crisis.

Following the meeting, Alain Juppé delivered remarks to the United Nations press corps.

- On 1 February 2012, the Security Council met at the level of permanent representatives to continue negotiations on the draft resolution circulated by Morocco on January 27. On February 2, they decided to submit a revised draft to the vote once they have obtained the agreement of their government.

- On 4 February 2012, as no objections had been expressed by the other States, the draft resolution was put to a vote and gathered the approval of thirteen member States. Being against the adoption of the text, Russia and China vetoed the draft resolution.

Speaking before the Council, the Permanent Representative of France deplored the Russian and Chinese votes and predicted that “history would harshly judge those countries which prevented the Council to provide support to the Peace plan of the Arab League”. He also spoke to the media after the meeting, stressing that France would continue to work in favour of the interests of the Syrian people.

- On 8 February 2012, the Secretary-General briefed the Security Council gathered in closed consultations on his recent visit to the region. He deplored the continuing violence and called for support to the initiative of the Arab League. He discussed with its Secretary General the resumption of the monitoring mission. France expressed its support to the United Nations efforts and to the Arab League plan of 22 December.

- On 13 February 2012, the UN General Assembly discussed the situation of Human Rights in Syria after hearing the report of Ms. Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the repression conducted by the regime against the opposition in the country.

During his statement, the French representative reiterated that the Syrian regime was guilty of crimes against humanity, as more than 6,000 Syrians had died because of the crackdown. The international community had to pursue its mobilization to support the initiative of the Arab League, as well as the efforts of its newly appointed special envoy.

- On 14 February 2012, Egypt presented a United Nations General Assembly draft resolution, on behalf of the Arab Group and co-sponsored by nearly 70 states, expressing the international community’s support to the initiative of the Arab League. A vote was scheduled for February 16. The draft resolution stresses in particular the responsibility of the Syrian authorities in the violence against civilians and the systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country. It provides the support of the international community to the Arab League’s roadmap for a political transition in Syria, and calls upon the Syrian authorities to allow humanitarian access to civilian populations. It mandates the UN Secretary General Envoy to appoint a Special envoy on the matter.

- On 16 February 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution presented by the Arab group and co-sponsored by 72 states, expressing the full support of the international community to the Arab League’s peace plan. The resolution stresses in particular the responsibility of the Syrian authorities in the violence against civilians and the systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country. It supports the Arab League’s roadmap for a political transition in Syria, urges the Syrian authorities to allow humanitarian access to the civilian populations and mandates the United Nations Secretary General to appoint a Special Envoy. 137 States voted in favour of the resolution, 17 abstained and 12 states voted against it (Syria, Russia, China, Belarus, North Korea, Iran, Ecuador, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Zimbabwe; check out the voting records ).

- On 23 February 2012, implementing the resolution adopted a week earlier by the General Assembly, the United Nations Secretary General and the Secretary General of the League of Arab States announced the appointment of Nobel Peace Prize and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as their joint special envoy for the crisis in Syria. They requested Mr. Annan to "provide good offices aimed at bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations, and promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis (...) and to facilitate a peaceful Syrian-led and inclusive political solution that meets the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people through a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian Government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition.”

- On 28 February 2012, the Security Council met to hear a report by Mr Lynn Pascoe, Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, on the situation in the Middles East.

Speaking on Syria, he informed the Council that the crackdown death toll had certainly exceeded 7500 people killed. Mr Pascoe stressed the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the Syrian crisis, several reports showing that the regime had committed many violations of Human Rights, as well as Crimes against Humanity. ICRC’s appeals for a humanitarian truce that would ease the evacuation of the wounded remained unanswered and the mission of humanitarian needs assessment conducted by Ms. Valerie Amos, Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, had still not been granted permission to enter the Syrian territory. The adoption of a resolution on the situation in Syria at the United Nations General Assembly and the organization of the "Friends of Syria" conference in Tunis offered a positive outlook.

During the closed consultations that followed, the French representative deplored that the Council’s silence had fostered a sense of impunity within the Syrian regime, thereby worsening the repression. The implementation of humanitarian assistance and the expression of a political support to the Arab League were more urgent than ever.

- On 1 March 2012, in a press statement, the Security Council expressed its "deep disappointment" at the refusal by the Syrian authorities to allow the UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian affairs, Ms. Valerie Amos, to visit Syria. It deplored the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation. The members of the Security Council called upon the Syrian authorities to grant Ms. Amos immediate and unhindered access to the country, as well as to the humanitarian personnel. France welcomed the adoption of this statement, the first unanimous reaction of the Council on the repression in Syria since the presidential statement of 1 August 2011.

- On 6 March 2012, the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear a report from Lynn Pascoe, deputy secretary general for political affairs, on the situation in Syria as the authorities in Damascus finally allowed Valerie Amos, Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, to visit the country.

- On 13 March 2012, the Security Council heard in closed consultations the report of Ms. Amos on the humanitarian situation in Syria, described as extremely serious. A coordinator for humanitarian aid in the region had been appointed by OCHA, to alleviate the plight of refugee populations.
France denounced the persistent denial of Damascus in front of this situation and called for the launch as quickly as possible of an impartial joint UN and Syrian mission to assess humanitarian needs.

- On 16 March 2012, Kofi Annan, joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, reported by videoconference to the Security Council gathered in closed consultations on the first results of his good offices mission in Syria.

- On 21 March 2012, the Security council adopted a Presidential Statement, introduced by France, wich expressed full support to Mr. Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League in Syria.

- On 22 March 2012, in an Arria meeting, the Security Council heard in the President of the Commission of Inquiry on the situation of Human Rights in Syria, Mr. Paulo Pinheiro. Mr. Pinheiro explained that the Commission was hindered in its investigations by the lack of access to the Syrian territory. As humanitarian organizations faced similar obstacles, Mr. Pinheiro requested that the Council called for an unimpeded access to the country. He deplored the continued and systematic violations of human rights as well as the bombings targeting civilians. The number of refugees in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan kept increasing.

The representative of France welcomed the establishment of a list of individuals registered as having committed crimes against humanity.

- On 27 March 2012, the Security Council heard a report from Robert Serry, Special Coordinator for the peace process in the Middle East. He said the crackdown in Syria could have led to more than 9,000 dead and noted that Damascus had announced it accepted Kofi Annan’s plan. During the consultation session that followed, Gerard Araud, Permanent Representative of France, said that to be credible, this announcement had to be followed with concrete steps on the ground, without delay.

- On 2 April 2012, former Secretary General Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, briefed the Security Council on his mediation efforts to bring an end to the crisis and a political transition in Syria through the implementation of his six points plan. He announced that the Syrian regime had agreed to halt troop movements toward populated areas, to stop resorting to heavy weapons and to begin the withdrawal of security forces by 10 April at the latest. All violence should then cease within 48 hours. Kofi Annan asked the Security Council to support the April 10 deadline and to begin consideration on a mandate for a potential UN monitoring mission in the country.

- On 5 April 2012, the Security Council adopted a presidential statement calling the Syrian government to implement its commitments "urgently and visibly", in particular to put an end to its military operations no later than 10 April in order to allow a full cessation of violence on 12 April at the lastest. The Council also expressed its readiness to authorize the deployment of a Mission of UN observers to monitor the cessation of hostilities and the implementation of the Annan plan if those commitments were met. The adoption was followed by a briefing of Kofi Annan to the General Assembly on his mediation efforts, in which the Joint Special Envoy stressed in particular that military operations in populated areas had not ceased yet.

- On 10 April 2012, following receipt of a letter from Kofi Annan noting the failure of the Syrian regime to fufill its commitments, the presidency of the Security Council on behalf of all its members has renewed before the media the call for the full and immediate application by the Syrian authorities of the six-point plan, including putting an end to military operations in urban centers and begining the pull back of military concentrations, to allow a cease-fire with the opposition to start on 12 April.

- On 12 April 2012, the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear Mr. Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, on the situation in Syria.

The Syrian authorities had not implemented the measures required to enable the setting of a credible cease-fire. Security forces and heavy weapons remained, particularly in urban areas. Nevertheless, a significant decline in violence had been reached on the date set. The Joint Envoy demanded from the Council the authorization of the deployment of an advanced observer mission and to recall the Syrian authorities their withdrawal obligations. If these conditions were met, the Security Council could then consider the deployment of a larger mission with a mandate to monitor the implementation of the Annan plan in six points.

Following these consultations, France and its partners immediately proposed a draft resolution reflecting the demands of Mr. Annan.

- On 14 April 2012, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2042. This resolution, the first to be adopted since the crisis began mote than a year ago, calls once again upon the Syrian authorities to fully implement their obligations and authorizes the deployment a first observation mission, with a number of safeguards to guarantee its success.

In his explanation of vote, the permanent representative of France stressed that the decrease in violence since April 12 occurred more than a year after the beginning of the crisis and more than 10,000 dead. He reiterated that the onus remained on the Syrian regime to prove its good will, in demonstrating its compliance with all the obligations to which it had subscribed, and that the international community, who now found its ability to speak again with one voice, would judge Damascus by its deeds.

- On 18 April 2012, as requested by resolution 2042, the UN Secretary General issued a letter to the Security Council proposing to allow deployments for an initial period of three months of 300 observers. These observers would have a mandate to monitor the full implementation of the six-point plan proposed by Kofi Annan. BAN Ki-moon stressed that the Syrian authorities were far from having implemented their obligations of a withdrawal of their troops and cessation of violence, which was echoed by Jean-Marie Guehenno, Annan’s deputy, during consultations held on April 19 at the Security Council.

- On 21 April 2012, the Security Council unanimously approved resolution 2043, co-sponsored by China, Colombia, France, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal and Russia, authorizing the deployment of 300 observers of UNSMIS (United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria), with a civilian component, and a mandate to monitor the cessation of violence and the full implementation of Kofi Annan’s six points plan.

- On 23 April 2012, the Security Council met for its monthly debate on the situation in the Middle East.

Speaking on Syria, Mr. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, said the country was at a turning point, because of the Council’s decision to send, by the vote on resolution 2043, 300 observers within a mission aimed at supervising the cease-fire and the implementation of the Annan plan. The end of armed violence was still not effective, as the measures taken by the Syrian authorities remained insufficient. He deplored the lack of progress to ensure an unhindered access of the humanitarian assistance to the populations in need in Syria.

The representative of France underscored that the Council would not tolerate any obstruction to the work of the observers and to their safety. France thanked Syria’s neighbouring states for the help they were providing to Syrian refugees.

- On 24 April 2012, the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear a report by the Joint Special Envoy, Mr. Kofi Annan, in the presence of the Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Hervé Ladsous. Despite a letter from the Syrian authorities asserting the effectiveness of the troops’ withdrawal and the end of military operations, Kofi Annan stressed the failure of the Syrian authorities to fulfill their obligations as violence persisted, notwithstanding a decline in its intensity since the arrival of the first observers. He called for the further deployment of the observers and declared he would pursue his mediation efforts.

France expressed its skepticism about the Syrian regime’s sincerity and urged DPKO to accelerate the deployment of the 300 observers.

- On 8 May 2012, the Security Council heard in closed consultations a report by Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations on the progress of the deployment of MISNUS, followed by a statement by Mr. Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League.

The capacities of MISNUS had increased rapidly and would reach the target of 300 observers by the end of May. The mission was globally free to move on the Syrian territory.

In response to the presentation of the Joint Special Envoy, the representative of France stressed that the continuing violence against the population, of whatever intensity, remained unacceptable, as well as the violations of human rights that persisted. The deployment of the observers could not be an end in itself, and the establishment of a political transition process under the application of the six-point plan could not be delayed.

- On 27 May 2012, the Security Council urgently met in private consultations to hear the report of General Mood, Head of of the observer mission in Syria, UNSMIS, on the circumstances of the massacre that took place in Houleh on 25 May. At the initiative of France, the Security Council adopted a press statement condemning the Syrian regime and demanding that it put an immediate end to violence and comply with its obligations.

In remarks to the press, the representative of France stressed the horror of the crime perpetrated and underlined the strong message sent by the Security Council to Damascus which will be carried by Kofi Annan to whom the Council reiterated its full support.

- On 30 May 2012, the Security council heard Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Deputy Joint Special Envoy for Syria and Hervé Ladsous, Under Secretary General for peacekeeping operations, on the situation in Syria.

The representative of France emphasized that in face of the atrocities perpetrated on 27 May in Houleh, the lack of willingness of the Syrian authorities to implement the Annan six points plan was patent. Greater pressure had to be put collectively on the Syrian regime by the Security Council in order to obtain the end of violence and to create the necessary conditions to the launch the political process.

Speaking to the UN press corps, the French representative expressed France’s support to UNSMIS and Kofi Annan’s actions, and deemed as unacceptable the refusal by Damascus to grant access to its territory to deputy Joint Envoy Nasser al-Qidwa.

- On 7 June 2012, the General Assembly met with Mr. Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the UN and the League of Arab States for Syria, Mr. Nabil El Araby, Secretary-general of the Arab League and Mr. Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-general for Human Rights, to give account of the situation in Syria. The assessment was unanimous, the situation had deteriorated and the Annan six points plan had not been implemented. A swift, united and coordinated action of the international community to put pressure on the Syrian authorities had proven essential.

The Representative of France emphasized the seriousness of all acts committed during the Houleh and Al-Koubeir massacres and reiterated the necessity for perpetrators of these atrocities to be held accountable. Reasserting his support for the Annan plan and UNSMIS action, he called for the international community to send stronger messages to the Syrian authorities.

Following the General Assembly meeting, yhe Security Council met in private consultations with the UN Secretary-General and Mr. Annan to discuss the implementation of his six points plan by Damascus. After the meeting the French representative underscored, in remarks to the press, the overwhelming responsibility of the Syrian authorities in the deterioration of the situation and in the lack of implementation of the Annan Plan. More pressure from the international community was necessary on the Syrian authorities to enforce the implementation of the plan.

- On 19 June 2012, the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear the briefing of General Mood, Head of the observer mission in Syria, and Hervé Ladsous, Under Secretary General for peacekeeping operations, on the situation in Syria. Because of a significant intensification of violence lately, the UNSMIS was constrained to suspend its activities on the ground on 16 June 2012.

The representative of France stressed that the Annan plan remained the reference plan that had to be implemented by both parties. However, as the government and the opposition resorted to military means and as none of the 6 points had been respected, it was necessary to increase pressure, by placing the Annan plan under chapter VII of the UN Charter, which would allow the adoption of binding measures.

- On 19 June 2012, the Security Council met to hear the briefing of Mr Oscar Fernandez Taranco, Assistant Secretary General on the situation in the Middle East. In light of the deterioration of the Syrian crisis, he insisted on the fact that the cessation of all violence remained at the centre of the Secreatry General’s efforts to avoid a full scale civil war.

In the following consultations, the representative of France noted the worsening of the situation and the absence of all political opening. In order to promote the complete implementation of the Annan Plan, he reiterated his support for a new resolution of the Council putting the Annan plan under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

- On 26 June 2012, the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear the briefing of Hervé Ladsous, Under Secretary General for peacekeeping operations, and Mr Nasser al-Kidwa, Deputy of Mr Annan, on the situation in Syria. As the situation had continued to deteriorate and the violence had intensified, the activities of the UNSMIS were still suspended.

The Representative of France recalled that the Security Council should fully support the Annan plan by finding a consensus on a political transition plan in Syria. If the Annan plan was not fully implemented by the parties to the conflict, the Security Council should work on a project of resolution which would allow the adoption of binding measures, in accordance with chapter VII of the UN Charter.

- On 2 July 2012, on the initiative of France, Mrs Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, reported on the humanitarian situation in Syrian before the Security Council, in closed consultations.

Speaking before the press, the Representative of France deplored the massive and systematic violations by the government of the Syrian population and supported the call of Mrs Pillay to refer the case of Syria to the International Criminal Court. The political transition in Syria should be guided by the principles set up by the Action Group on Syria in Geneva on 30 June 2012.

Meeting of the Action Group on Syria in Geneva
30 June 2012

On 30 June 2012, the Action Group on Syria met in Geneva, on the initiative of Kofi Annan, in order to reach a consensus to guarantee the implementation of the six-point peace plan of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria, and the implementation of the UNSC resolutions 2042 and 2043, which define the mandate of the UN observers in Syria.

The group was composed of the ministers of foreign affairs of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (United States, Russia, China, France and Great Britain), of Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar as Chairs of the Arab League, Turkey, as well as the Secretary General of the UN and of the Arab League, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The joint communique that was adopted at the end of the meeting set up the Principles and Guidelines for a Syrian-led transition. It states that the future government could include members of the current regime as well as the opposition and other groups and should be formed as the result of a mutual consent.

- On 11 July 2012, the Security Council met in closed consultations to examine the situation in Syria and the report of the Secretary General on the activity of the UNSMIS, with Mr Ladsous, Under Secretary General for peacekeeping operations, and Mr Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy. The latter reported his mediation efforts in the continuation of the Action group meeting in Geneva, in particular on his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He called upon the Council to support his effort by exerting all the necessary pressure.

In his remarks to the press, the Representative of France underlined the ongoing level of violence and the absence of implementation of the Security Council resolutions, the Annan plan and the Geneva communiqué. In this context, the renewal of the UNSMIS mandate would only make sense if there was a plan of a political solution. On this matter, France was working with its partners on a resolution draft which would put the Annan plan and the Geneva communiqué under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, making the adoption of sanctions possible.

- On 19 July 2012, Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution tabled by France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal and the United States which aimed at putting the Annan plan under chapter VII of the UN Charter and accompanying it by a threat of sanctions for non compliance. Eleven member states voted in favor. Pakistan and South Africa abstained.

In his explanation of vote, the Representative of France denounced the unconditional support of Russia and China to the criminal regime of Bashar el-Assad which jeopardized the momentum and the framework of the international community, patiently worked up for months.

Talking to the press, he recalled that France would keep on working with the Syrian opposition, notable within the Groups of Friends of Syria, through the research of unity and the emergence of a democratic solution that would respect the human rights and the rule of law. He also underlined that the crimes of the Syrian regime and those who committed them would not remain unpunished.

- On 20 July 2012, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2059 extending for the final 30 days the UN observer mission in Syria (UNSMIS).

- On 2 August 2012, Kofi Annan announced his resignation from his position as UN-League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy for Syria, explaining that he did not receive the support he was expecting from the Security Council. In accordance with resolution 2059 , the latter met in closed consultations to hear the briefing of Hervé Ladsous, Under Secretary General for peacekeeping operations, on the situation in Syria.

The Representative of France recalled that the Security Council would examine the future of UNSMIS on August 16th, a few days before the mandate expires. If the Council noted, as today, the absence of the reduction of violence and the continuing use of heavy weapons, the conditions required by the resolution 2059 for the renewal of UNSMIS would not be met and the mandate would expire. Noting that the Security Council remained deeply divided on a political approach, the Representative of France also called upon the members of the Council to work on the humanitarian issues in Syria.

- On 3 August 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by 133 votes against 12 and 31 abstentions a resolution presented by the Arab Group and cosponsored by nearly 60 countries, including France, condemning the shelling of cities by the Syrian army and criticizing the inability of the Security Council to pressure Damascus. The resolution condemned the increasing use of heavy weapons by the Syrian authorities and highlighted the concern over the Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles. It called for a democratic political transition in Syria.

The twelve countries that rejected the resolution are Syria, China, Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Bolivia, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

- On 16 August 2012, the Security Council met in closed consultations with M. Muller, under Secretary-General, to examine the implementation of resolution 2059 which extended for 30 days the mandate of UNSMIS.

Since the conditions set up by this resolution had not been met, as the Secretary-General had noted, the mandate of UNSMIS would not be renewed after August 19. However, the Representative of France, as President of the Security Council, stated that the members of the Council supported the proposal of the Secretary General to maintain a UN presence in Damascus, in the form of a liaison office, in order to ease the dialogue with the parties on the ground and back the mediation efforts. The Council would also renew its support to Mr Annan’s successor.

- On 17 August 2012, the United Nations Secretary-General announced along with the Secretary-General of the Arab League the appointment of Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi as Joint Special Representative for Syria and successor of Mr. Kofi Annan. The French presidency of the Security Council sent a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to express the Council’s support to his good offices and to the mission of the Joint Special Representative for Syria.

- On 30 August 2012, the Security Council held a ministerial meeting, on the initiative of France, on the humanitarian crisis provoked by the Syrian conflict. The neighboring countries –Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq- directly affected by the consequences of the Syrian crisis, including by the refugees flows, were invited to take part to the debate.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius deplored the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria and announced the release of an additional aid of €5 million, so that France was contributing to up to €20 million since the beginning of the crisis. Mr Fabius called upon the Representative of Damascus to respect the agreement concluded on 28 May with the United Nations to implement the humanitarian assistance. He stressed that the crimes of the regime would not stay unpunished. On the political level, Mr Fabius recalled that Bashar el-Assad and his clan had to leave and that a political transition should start as soon as possible. In order to prepare the day after, France was providing material and financial support to the resistance committees in the liberated zones.

- On 24 September 2012, the Security Council has heard the briefing of the joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, on his first efforts of mediation. He depicted a particularly bleak situation in the country and called upon the mobilization of the international community in order to support the growing number of refugees. He especially asked the Security Council to unanimously support him in his search for a political solution.

The representative of France reiterated his support to Mr. Brahimi. He pointed out that the emergence of a political solution should guarantee the safety of the Alawite community who fought for their survival. He finally recalled that crimes against humanity should be prosecuted and the possibility for it was to the Security Council to refer to the International Criminal Court.

- On 4 and 5 October 2012, the Security Council condemned respectively the shelling of Turkish town by Syrian forces and the terrorist attacks in Aleppo (Syria), which responsibility was claimed by the Jebhat al-Nusra group affiliated with Al-Qaida.

- On 15 October 2012, the Security Council held an open debate on the situation in the Middle East. Jeffrey Feltman, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said that the conflict in Syria, now entering its 20th month, has reached new and appalling heights of brutality and violence.

In his statement, the Representative of France reminded of his support to Mr. Brahimi’s and opposition forces’ efforts to move towards political transition. He underscored that France condemn Syrian military attacks on Turkish and on Lebanese territories.

- On 24 October 2012, the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, on his efforts to obtain truce during the Eid Al Adha festival.

The Representative of France reiterated his support to Mr. Brahimi, underlining that the Syrian regime forces had to be the first to cease hostilities, as previously demanded by the Security Council. A truce could become a lasting ceasefire with a political transition process.

The Security Council adopted a press statement calling upon all parties, in particular the Syrian Government, to respond positively to the initiative and to allow immediate access of humanitarian personnel to all populations in need of assistance.

- On 6 November 2012, the Security Council met in closed consultations with, Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, to discuss the situation in Syria following the failed attempt to establish a truce on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha festival.

France stressed that the level of violence had worsened, with an increased use of air assets. The humanitarian crisis deepened and the risks of a regional escalation were growing. A swift political transition was needed more than ever. The Security Council could not deprive itself of any of its means to support the Joint Special Representative in the implementation of this transition.

- On 29 November 2012, the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, on the worrying situation in Syria.

With over 40,000 deaths since the beginning of the repression, the cycle of violence had to stop immediately. On 11 November, the Doha Agreement had endorsed the unification of the Syrian opposition, by creating the Coalition of revolutionary forces and the Syrian opposition. France had recognized the coalition as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people. The French representative said that the commitment of the united opposition in the development of a political and peaceful solution would contribute to the success of the mediation of Mr. Brahimi.

- On 17 December 2012, Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, presented the report on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force by the Secretary-General to the members of the Security Council.

The French representative condemned the violation by Syria of the 1974 Disengagement Agreement, which endangered not only the ceasefire initiated by resolution 338, but also the security of Peace keeping forces.

In closed consultations, the Security Council also heard Mrs. Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

The French representative expressed his grave concern over difficulties of access to humanitarian aid. While neighboring countries feared domestic destabilization by the Syrian conflict, their borders had to remain open, in order to allow the victims of violence to seek refuge.

- On 19 December 2012, the Security Council adopted unanimously resolution 2084 extending the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan until the 30 June 2013.

2013 Retour à la table des matières

- On 14 January 2013, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations sent a letter to the President of the Security Council asking the Security Council to refer the Syrian issue to the International Criminal Court. This letter demonstrated the will of the 57 co-signatory states including France, to fight against the impunity of crimes perpetrators in Syria.

- On 18 January 2013, Ms. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Ms. Valerie Amos, Assistant-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, briefed the Security Council on the alarming situation in Syria.

The representative of France denounced the daily atrocities which affected the population and reiterated the French authorities condemnation of the attack on Aleppo University and of the massacre in Homs perpetrated in recent days. Human Rights violations and attacks against civilians, mainly committed by the Syrian regime, could no longer remain unpunished.

Following the consultations, the five Council members signatories of the Swiss letter requesting the referral to the ICC - Australia, France, Luxembourg, Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom – delivered a joint statement speaking out on “the absolute need for accountability” in Syria.

- On 23 January 2013, the Security Council met to hear Mr Robert Serry, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process on the situation in the region including in Syria.

The representative of France deplored the Security Council incapacity to take action. The UNSC would bear the responsibility of the destabilization of the whole region if the transition demanded by the people did not take place.

- On 29 January 2013, Mr Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, deplored once again the alarming situation in Syria which was “breaking up before everyone’s eyes” and needed an urgent response of the Security Council.

Faced with the inability of both parties to discuss, the representative of France urged the Security Council to overcome its divisions and help them find a political solution based on the Geneva communiqué.

- On 27 February 2013, Security Council consultations were held to discuss the humanitarian and the Human Rights situation in Syria, with Mrs Amos, Assistant-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mrs Bangura, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, and Mr Guterres, High Commissioner for Refugees.

Facing the collapse of the state and its consequences on the Syrian people, the representative of France stressed the need to ensure an unhindered and wider humanitarian aid. While the international community had to increase pressure on the regime, France was still providing populations living in liberated zones with humanitarian aid.

Following the consultations, the representative of France told the journalists he will try to have soon a public briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

- On 6 March 2013, in response to the detention of 21 UNDOF peacekeepers on the Golan Heights, the Security Council held emergency consultations with Mr Hervé Ladsous. Condemning this act, the members of the Council adopted a press statement demanding the immediate release of all the detained UN peacekeepers and they called upon all parties to cooperate with UNDOF to enable it to operate freely and to ensure full security of its personnel.

- On 8 March 2013, while UNDOF observers were still detained in Golan Heights, Mr Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, briefed the Security Council on efforts undertaken for their release. Facing a worrying situation in the field, the representative of France called upon members of the Security Council to carry on their support to UNDOF, which had to enhance staff security measures.

- On 20 March 2013, during private consultations of the Security Council, France raised the issue of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and announced that it would send a letter to the Secretary General demanding an investigation of the allegation of use of chemical weapons made by the Syrian government as well as by the opposition.

Following those consultations, the French and British Representatives informed the press about their intention to write a letter to the Secretary-general demanding him to consider this question.

- On 20 March 2013, France raised during private consultations of the Security Council the question of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and announced that it would request the Secretary-General on the basis of Resolution 620 of the Security Council to conduct an investigation to verify the allegations of use of these weapons recently reported by the Syrian authorities as well as the opposition.

Following these consultations, the French and British representatives announced to the [press> 75053] their sending of a joint letter requesting the Secretary-General to address the question.

- On 22 March, the Security Council issued a statement to the press condemning the terrorist attack that struck Damascus the day before and claimed the lives of forty people including a high religious Sunni authority.

- On 26 March 2013, two weeks after the 21 UNDOF Peacekeepers release, the Security Council heard Mr Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, on the worsening security situation in Golan Heights, which was hindering a full implementation of UNDOF mandate.

Reasserting the importance of its role for regional stability, the representative of France called upon the Security Council to support DPKO measures for staff safety to answer to legitimate concerns of troops contributing countries.

As a follow-up, the members of the Security Council issued a press statement expressing their grave concern at the presence of the Syrian Arab Republic Armed Forces inside the area of separation.

- On 18 April 2013, Security Council public meeting was held to discuss the humanitarian and the Human Rights situation in Syria, with Mrs Amos, Assistant-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mrs Bangura, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Mrs Zerrougui, Secretary-General Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, and Mr Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Facing a situation “approaching a point of no-return”, top UN Officials urged Security Council members to unite to end the crisis, which was first affecting women and children. A collective action of the international community was necessary to preserve the stability of neighborhood countries, threatened by the growing number of refugees, especially in Lebanon and Jordan.

During the following consultations, the representative of France stressed the urgent need to allow access to humanitarian aid, including through cross-borders operations. The Security Council had to go over its political divergences to end the bloodshed.

Talking to the press after the consultations, the President of the Security Council "expressed the view that the escalating violence is completely unacceptable and must end immediately".

- On 19 April 2013, Mr Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, asked once again the Security Council to unite to end the Syrian crisis.

During the consultations, the representative of France reaffirmed that only a political solution could stop the collapse of the State and of the entire region. Facing an opposition more divided and radicalized, he underlined the need to support the Syrian National Coalition and its restructuring and consolidation efforts. France remained deeply committed alongside the Syrian people to initiate a political transition, including by the participation of Mr Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People group to take place in Istanbul on April, 20.

- On 30 April 2013, the Permanent Representative of Jordan was invited to attend a Security Council private meeting to assess the situation in its country, threatened by growing flows of Syrian refugees. In the absence of adequate financial assistance, he asked the Security Council to recognize that this situation constituted a threat to international peace and security.

The representative of France reaffirmed that this refugee’s crisis was threatening the stability of the entire region and required financial support for neighboring countries hosting refugees, as well as a visit of the Security Council in the region. He recalled that only a political issue to the Syrian crisis could resolve the humanitarian situation.

- On 7 May 2013, in response to the detention of 4 UNDOF peacekeepers on the Golan Heights, the members of the Council adopted a press statement demanding the immediate release of all the detained UN peacekeepers and called upon all parties to cooperate with UNDOF to enable it to operate freely and to ensure full security of its personnel.

- On 15th May 2013, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/67/262, presented by Qatar and co-sponsored by 61 States, with 107 votes in favor, 12 votes against and 59 abstentions.

This resolution welcomes the establishment of the National Coalition as an effective representative interlocutor needed for a political transition. It also expresses the outrage of the international community at the death of at least 70 000 people in the Syrian army Republic, as reported on 12 February 2013.

- On 16 May 2013, the Security Council adopted a press statement to condemn the detention, during several hours, of UN Truce Supervision Organization’s (UNTSO) military observers. This was the third such incident in the past two months.

- On 7 June 2013, the Security Council met in closed consultations with Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, to discuss the situation in the Golan Heights and the future of UNDOF, following recent fighting that injured UNDOF members.

The Security Council expressed its deep concern regarding these events and urged all parties to respect the ceasefire. Crucial for regional stability and security, UNDOF has an unanimous support from the Security Council, which will take all measures to maintain the operation and will support the Secretariat for the reinforcement of UNDOF contingents. The upcoming renewal of UNDOF’s mandate will be the opportunity to achieve these objectives and to ensure the security and maintenance of the operation.

The Security Council had previously adopted on 6 June 2013 a press statement condemning the fighting and calling upon all parties to cooperate with UNDOF to enable it to operate freely and to ensure full security of its personnel.

Also gravely concerned about the humanitarian impact of the recent heavy fighting in Al-Qusayr, the Security Council adopted a press statement calling upon the Syrian Government to allow immediate, safe and unhindered access for relevant humanitarian actors, to reach civilians. It also called upon all parties to do their utmost to protect civilians.

- On 18 June 2013, the Security Council heard in closed consultations Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He declared that the modernization of the equipment and the reinforcement of the self-defense capacities of UNDOF were indispensable for the operation to fulfill its mandate and ensure its own safety in a changing and destabilizing environment.

The representative of France stressed that UNDOF’s presence was a political necessity and its protection essential to the stability of the region and the respect the disengagement agreement.

- On 20 June 2013, the Security Council heard in private consultations Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and Ms. Valerie Amos, Head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who jointly reported a preoccupying deterioration in the humanitarian and security situations in Syria.

Valerie Amos presented an alarming human toll and exhorted the Syrian government to take prompt measures to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians and to reduce the severe impact of the conflict on the population.

- On 27 June 2013, the Security Council adopted resolution 2108, extending the mandate of UNDOF in the Golan Heights for a period of 6 months.

- On 23 July 2013, the Security Council met for its quarterly public debate on the situation in the Middle East. During this debate, the members of the Security Council deplored the heavy humanitarian toll stemming from the conflict and expressed their support to the countries hosting Syrian refugees.

In his statement, the representative of France welcomed the efforts made by the National Syrian coalition to strengthen its status as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Meanwhile, he exhorted the Syrian government to allow an unimpeded access of the UN fact-finding mission on the alleged use of chemical weapons and also asked the Security Council to refer the Syrian case to the International Criminal Court in order to judge war crimes committed in Syria.

- On 26 July 2013, the Security Council met in an Arria meeting the Syrian National Coalition and its President Mr. Jarba. The representatives of the Syrian National Coalition said that they were willing to take part in the "Geneva II" conference if the regime of Bashar al-Assad pledged to respect the conclusions of the "Geneva I" conference and the expected transition process. They rejected any form of extremism, radicalism and terrorism in the conflict and called for cooperation and support of the Security Council. They also expressed their willingness to put an immediate end to the suffering of the Syrian people massacred without discrimination, and to conduct a peaceful national transition.

During this meeting and in his remarks to the press, the representative of France said that Assad’s regime was primarily responsible for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria. He also reiterated his support to the Syrian National Coalition, the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and its commitment to the upcoming "Geneva II" conference.

- On 29 July 2013, at a General Assembly informal meeting, Mr. Paulo Pinheiro, President of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria which was established by the Human Rights Council, presented his report on the Human Rights situation in the country. He denounced the continued countless and unpunished Human Rights violations and underlined the need to prosecute perpetrators. He stressed that it was time to act for a just and lasting peace in Syria. The international community needed to require a diplomatic solution.

In his statement, the representative of France renewed his call on the Syrian government to allow an immediate, unimpeded and free access of the UN fact-finding mission on the alleged use of chemical weapons. He also called on all parties to make sure for the "Geneva II" Conference would take place as soon as possible and lead to the establishment of a transitional government with full executive powers. Finally, he recalled France’s support to a referral by the Security Council of the Syrian case to the International Criminal Court in order to ensure prosecution of those responsible for the crimes committed in Syria.

- On 20 August 2013, Mr. Oscar Fernandez Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, presented his report on the situation in the Middle East to the Security Council. On the Syrian crisis, he stated that 6.8 million Syrians were dependent on humanitarian aid. He reported continued violations of international law and humanitarian law by the Syrian authorities and some groups of the opposition and called on the Security Council to ensure that those guilty of war crimes will be prosecuted. Finally, he also informed the Security Council of the arrival in Syria of UN experts in charge of investigating the use of chemical weapons. They will present their conclusions at the end of their investigation, which should last 14 days unless extended with the assent of the Syrian authorities.

During the closed consultations that followed, the representative of France exhorted the Syrian government to grant the UN experts unhindered and unfettered access to the sites. He also said that Geneva II conference was urgent in order to transfer executive power, including control of the police and the army, to a transitional government, and also asked the Council to refer the Syrian case to the ICC to ensure that perpetrators of humanitarian crimes are brought to justice.

- On 21 August 2013, following the massacre perpetrated by the Syrian army near Damascus, France, alongside the United Kingdom, the United States, the Republic of Korea and Luxembourg, requested an emergency meeting of the Security Council. During these closed consultations, the members of the Security Council heard the report of Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, on these deadly attacks and their humanitarian consequences.

In his statement, the representative of France insisted that the UN experts in charge of investigating the use of chemical weapons, who are already in Damascus, should have an immediate, free and unconditional access to the sites where the attacks occurred.

Following these consultations, the President of the Security Council made remarks to the press, on behalf of all Council members.

- 4 September 2013 Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, presented to the Security Council his “Monthly Horizon Scanning” entirely dedicated to the Middle-East. During these private consultations, he mentioned the Syrian conflict and the issue of the use of chemical weapons.

During this meeting, France recalled that the information it detains and which has been made public established with certainty that the Syrian regime is responsible for the chemical massacre committed on August 21st in the suburbs of Damascus. France underlined the importance of reacting to the impunity of Bachar El-Assad and undermining any further use of chemical weapon. The representative of France also pointed out that the credibility of the commitments against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction were at stake. Finally, he recalled that only a political solution would allow a way out for the Syrian crisis.

- On 16 September 2013, the Security Council met in private consultations to hear a presentation of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, on the report of the UN chemical weapons investigators, led by Mr. Sellström. The report, based on several interviews with civilians and rigorous analysis of multiple samples collected from the sites of the attack and the victims, confirmed that chemical weapons were used on a large scale in the area of the Ghouta on 21 August, during the attack that killed and injured hundreds of civilians.

Following the presentation of the Secretary-General, the representative of France stated that the detailed elements of the report on the circumstances of the attack, the procedure and the nature of the chemical agent used, combined with the Syrian chemical program known to all, left no room for those who pleaded the case of Bashar Al- Assad. He declared that the Security Council had to send a clear message to make sure that those responsible of this massacre would be prosecuted and brought to the ICC.

Following these consultations, the Secretary-General met with the press to publicly present the report of the UN chemical weapons investigators.

The representative of France also made remarks to the press in which he said that the use of chemical weapons by the regime on 21 August was irrefutable. He also stated that the Russia/US Geneva Agreement should be fully implemented to ensure the effective dismantling of the chemical arsenals of the Syrian regime. In order to achieve this goal, France, the U.S. and the UK prepared a draft resolution aiming to make legally-binding and enforceable the Geneva Agreement.

- On 17 September, the Secretary-General presented the report to the General Assembly. Following his presentation, he urged the Syrian regime to comply with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CWC) and asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to set up a procedure, in order to ensure that Syria declares as soon as possible all its chemical arsenals. He also asked the Security Council to adopt a binding resolution to that effect. During this meeting, the representative of France stated that the Syrian commitments should be monitored by a binding resolution of the Security Council under Chapter VII, with serious consequences in case of failure or disrespect and creating means of inspection and control of the obligations of the Syrian regime.

- 26 September 2013. During the opening week of the UN General Assembly, France organized a public meeting of the Friends of Syria Group with the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces. For the first time, Mr. Ahmad Al-Jarba, president of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces was able to address, within the United Nations premises, hundreds of delegations, more than forty of them being represented at ministerial level. Mr. Al-Jarba insisted on the Coalition’s will to embody a democratic and moderate opposition, rejecting any form of extremism. He denounced the use of chemical weapons and called not only for their destruction but also for the prosecution, by the International Criminal Court, of perpetrators. All the participants renewed their support to the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces and called for a political solution to implement the Geneva I communiqué. Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Representative of the United-Nations, underlined that the Coalition played a key and central role in making the Geneva II conference possible.

France, represented by Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, opened the meeting by recalling the legitimacy and representativeness of the Coalition recognized by more than a hundred of countries. In his statement, Mr. Fabius exhorted the international community to support the Coalition against the regime of Bachar Al-Assad which was constituting its brutal repression, and against extremists who were taking advantage of the current chaos. He finally recalled that it was urgent to give massive assistance to the people of Syria, especially in areas not controlled by the regime anymore and where the needs were enormous. In this context, France decided to contribute with additional 20 million euros to the needs inside Syria as well as for assistance to refugees and host countries.

- On 27 September 2013, the Security Council adopted unanimously resolution 2118 on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. After 17 months of paralysis on the Syrian issue, the Security Council most strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syrian Arab Republic and particularly the August 21st attack. This resolution makes the use chemical weapons a threat to international peace and security. The Council calls for the “full implementation of special procedures for the expeditious and verifiable destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons” as fast and safe as possible. It also underlines that “no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer such weapons”. Violation of the resolution, including unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria, would bring about measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which includes sanctions and other coercive measures.

The resolution also endorses a diplomatic plan for the Syrian crisis, supporting the organization in Geneva of an international conference on Syria, to which all Syrian parties “fully representative of the Syrian people” are invited to participate.

“Tonight, in the midst of the Syrian crisis, the Security Council can finally live up to its name” declared Mr. Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, after the vote. It is thanks to firmness and strike threats that Syria and its allies recognized the possession of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and accepted their destruction. For France, the resolution meets the three requirements stated by President Hollande at the UNGA opening debate:

  • it determines that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a threat to international peace and security;
  • it clearly states that those responsible for such crimes must be held accountable
  • it decides that, in the event of non-compliance by the Syrian regime, the Council will take action under Chapter VII of the Charter.

However, Mr. Laurent Fabius underlined that the resolution was only a first step; and that that the United Nations and the OPCW should immediately deploy their joint mission to implement it. He finally called for the relaunch of the political process with the preparation of Geneva II, to allow the transfer of all executive powers in Syriato a transitional body.

- 3 October 2013. The Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement on the humanitarian situation in Syria. In this statement, the Council calls on the Syrian authorities to “take immediate steps to facilitate the expansion of humanitarian relief operations”. The text calls for immediate action to facilitate humanitarian assistance to affected persons, through safe and unhindered access to all areas, including if needed across conflict lines and across borders from neighboring countries. This assistance should be provided according to the needs, without any prejudice or political motives, according to International Humanitarian Right. Finally, all the parties to the conflict are urged to protect civilians by refraining from targeting medical facilities, schools and water stations or establishing militarized positions in inhabited areas. This statement, if fully implemented, should allow to assist 2 million people still deprived from any help.

- On 16 October 2013, the Secretary-General appointed Mrs Sigrid Kaag of the Netherlands as Special Coordinator of the UN-OPCW (United Nations - Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ) Joint Mission to eliminate the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2118.

- On 22 October 2013, the Security Council met for its quarterly public debate on the Middle East, with Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN, and Mr. Ron Prosor, Permanent Representative of Israel. With regard to Syria, the members of the Security Council have deplored the humanitarian impact of the Syrian crisis and expressed their support for the countries hosting Syrian refugees.

In its intervention, the Representative of France called for a full implementation of Resolution 2118 for the neutralization of Syria’s chemical weapons. At the same time, he called for a speedy holding in Geneva of a conference leading to a political transition in Syria, since the only solution to the crisis in Syria will be political. Finally, he supported the Syrian National Coalition and urged the Security Council to ensure humanitarian access in Syria.

- On 25 October 2013, Mrs. Valerie Amos, UN coordinator for humanitarian affairs, briefed the Security Council on the implementation the UNSC statement adopted on 2 October 2013, which called on all parties to the conflict in Syria to facilitate humanitarian access to civilians in need. Mrs. Amos indicated that no progress was to report on the ground despite the unanimous call of the UNSC. 2.5 million Syrians in combat areas have remained deprived of humanitarian aid for one year.

In the private consultations which followed, the Permanent Representative of France assessed that a renewed Security Council initiative would be necessary to contribute to the improvement of the situation on the ground. The Security Council, divided on the issue of Syria, would need to be able to agree on specific operational messages.

- On 4 November 2013, Mrs. Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, encouraged the adoption of a monitoring plan of the implementation of the Council Presidential Statement concerning humanitarian access in Syria. The humanitarian situation was continuing to deteriorate, with 9, 3 million people – 6, 5 million of whom are internally displaced people- in need of humanitarian assistance.

- On 5 November 2013, during private consultations, Mrs. Sigrid Kaag, Coordinator of the UN-OPCW (United Nations - Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) Joint Mission, briefed the Security Council on progress in the implementation of Resolution 2118.

In its intervention, the Representative of France paid tribute to the work achieved by the Joint Mission. He welcomed the encouraging start of this mission. He nevertheless urged the Security Council to maintain its vigilance concerning the implementation of Resolution 2118. The good faith of a regime which initially denied having chemical weapons, which had used its chemical weapons against its own people and which has already concealed facilities from the International Atomic Energy Agency could be questioned. Mr. Araud also indicated that the implementation of Phase 3 of the destruction of chemical weapons would be the most sensitive. Finally, he recalled that the destruction of chemical weapons would in no way put an end to the Syrian conflict. He called for a speedy holding in Geneva of a conference leading to a political transition in Syria. He urged the Security Council to ensure humanitarian access in Syria.

- On 19 November 2013, the Security Council met for its quarterly public debate on the situation in the Middle East, with Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

The permanent representative of France emphasized that every effort should be made to progress in the direction of a political solution and to stop atrocities and violations of the principles of international law. In this regard, he welcomed the decision taken on 11 November by the Syrian National coalition in Istanbul to participate in the Geneva II Conference. Finally, the Council should ensure that the presidential statement of October 2nd on humanitarian access in Syria led to relevant changes for the Syrian population who faces every day the ravages of the fighting.

- On 28 November 2013, the Security Council adopted a press statement strongly condemning the mortar shelling against the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Damascus, which killed one and wounded nine people including among the Embassy security personnel.

- On 4 December 2013, during closed consultations, Mrs Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the UN-OPCW (United Nations - Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) Joint Mission, presented to the Security Council the progress report on the implementation of resolution 2118 to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons program.

In his intervention, the permanent representative of France welcomed the work and progress achieved by the Joint Mission, as well as excellent cooperation between the United Nations and OPCW, and the courage of the international staff. However, multiple challenges remained concerning the phase of destruction, especially regarding the transfer of chemical weapons outside Syria towards the American vessel in charge of their destruction.

- On 16 December 2013, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, presented in private consultations the report of Mr. Åke Sellström, head of the United Nations fact-finding Mission on the allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, along with Mrs. Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

- On 18 December 2013, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2131 (2013) which extends for six months, until the 30rd of June 2014, the mandate of UNDOF.

2014 Retour à la table des matières

- On 8 January 2014, during closed consultations, Mrs. Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the UN-OPCW (United Nations - Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) Joint Mission, presented to the Security Council the progress report on the implementation of resolution 2118 to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons program.

In his intervention, the permanent representative of France welcomed the impressive work achieved by the Joint Mission, as well as the excellent cooperation between the United Nations and OPCW. If contributions by the States were essential, the primary responsibility in the implementation of the resolution was placed on Syria. It was the responsibility of the Syrian regime to get the stocks of hazardous chemical agents out from their various storage places to the port of Latakia. It should ensure the full implementation of all provisions of resolution 2118 and any failure should be reported to the Council. In this regard, the representative of France questioned the consequences of the non-respect of the 31 December 2013 deadline for the exit from Syria of priority chemical materials, and underlined the importance to set interim deadlines by 30 June 2014, date scheduled for the completion of the dismantling process. Progress in the elimination of chemical weapons should not be a cause for rejoicing, the government continuing for several weeks an offensive in Aleppo. The representative of France regretted that the Council has not reached an agreement to condemn unambiguously and strongly the use of Scud missiles and barrel bombs on civilians and has watched this massacre helplessly and wordless. As well, too little progress had been made on the implementation of the 2 October presidential statement on humanitarian access, while it was a duty of the government under international humanitarian law. In the context of Geneva II conference preparation, it seemed to be a deliberate intention to keep away any prospect of political solution. For its part, France would make every effort to ensure that the Geneva II conference will be convened and successful.

- On 17 January 2014, the Security Council met in an informal meeting (“Arria” format), on the initiative of Luxemburg and the United Kingdom, for a session about the participation of women in resolving the Syrian conflict. Three Syrian women, Mrs. Sabah Al Hallak, member of the Syrian Women League, Mrs. Rola Rekbi, member of the Syrian Women Coalition, and Mrs. Sarah Abu Assali, representative of the Syrian Women League, participated in this debate.

The permanent representative of France deplored the sufferings of the Syrian people which suffered the worst atrocities and repeated violations of international law and human rights with the use by the Syrian regime of chemical weapons, missiles and incendiary weapons against civilians, or attacks against humanitarian and medical targets. The choice of repression by the Syrian regime led to an appalling situation, including the radicalization of communities against each other and the destruction of the Syrian heritage. Women had to be at the heart of the reconciliation process. The Security Council fully noted this since resolution 1325, entitled “Women, Peace and Security”. France fully supported the goal of promoting the participation of women in resolving the Syrian crisis, which could not be done without fully acknowledging the specific consequences of the conflict on women. Two propositions of NGOs were subject to a strong engagement by France: the inclusion of a significant proportion of women in the Syrian delegations participating to Geneva II and the reinforcement, within the Joint Special Representative’s team, of expertise on gender issues.

- On 20 January 2014, during the Security Council open debate on the Middle East, Mr Ban Ki-moon Secretary-general to the United Nations, mentioned the preparations to the Geneva II conference. The permanent representative of France, Mr Gérard Araud underlined France’s commitment and effort to the success of the peace conference in Montreux on January 22. Mr Araud recalled that the Geneva II negotiation would take place on the basis of the Geneva I communiqué and that this condition had to be accepted by all participants to the conference. Every representative supported the peace conference in Montreux in order to reach a political solution in Syria through the designation of a transitional Government with all executive powers.

- On 6 February 2014, the Security Council met in private consultations to hear Ms. Sigrid Kaag, UN Coordinator for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, on the implementation of resolution 2118. Ms. Kaag confirmed that the Syrian regime was not respecting the deadlines set by the UN. The Permanent Representative of France expressed concern that the deadlines of 31 December 2013 and 5 February 2014 were not met by Syrian authorities regarding the exit of chemical agents out of Syria. He noted the lack of good faith shown by Syria to meet the previously set deadlines. He reminded that it was up to Syrians to respect the June 2014 deadline for the total destruction of chemical weapons.

- On 13 February 2014, during private consultations, Mrs. Valerie Amos, UN coordinator for humanitarian affairs, briefed the Security Council on the implementation the UNSC statement adopted on 2 October 2013, which called on all parties to the conflict in Syria to facilitate humanitarian access to civilians in need.

The Permanent Representative of France deplored the lack of progress in the implementation of the statement. The situation had even deteriorated. Out of the 3 million people in besieged or difficult to access cities, very few had received humanitarian aid. The commitments from the regime having not been respected, the United Nations needed to engage fully in order to ensure rapid, systematic and extended humanitarian access to the whole Syrian territory. The Security Council had to go beyond the monitoring of the presidential statement and demand the respect of the most basic rules of international law and Human Rights by the regime, which had to end its tactics besieging as well as its “starve or surrender” politicy, which constituted a war crime. The Permanent Representative of France therefore supported the draft resolution on humanitarian access in Syria presented by Luxembourg, Australia and Jordan and welcomed the fact that all members of the Council decided to engage in negotiations.

- On 22 February 2014, the members of the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2139 , requiring that the Syrian regime and the opposition allow humanitarian access to the civilian population in Syria.

- On 5 March 2014, the Security Council met in private consultations to hear Ms. Sigrid Kaag, UN Coordinator for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, on the implementation of resolution 2118.

The Permanent Representative of France recalled that Syria had so far failed to respect the deadlines set by the Executive Council of the OPCW to evacuate chemical weapons stockpiles. If pressure from the Council on Damascus’s authorities by adopting a press statement recently appeared to have paid off – the evacuation pace had accelerated - , it should not be forgotten that the whole stock had to be destroyed by 30 June. He also recalled that twelve chemical weapons production facilities had not been dismantled by Syria, despite its obligation to do so. Finally, the Syrian crisis was going beyond the chemical issue. Progress was needed on the political and humanitarian aspects and particularly on the implementation of resolution 2139 on humanitarian access.

- On 13 March 2014, the Security Council held private consultations on Syria in presence of the Special Representative of the UN on Syria, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi. Mr. Brahimi updated the Council on the status of the crisis and on negotiations in Syria, including the Geneva II conference, launched in January.

The Permanent Representative of France reminded the support of the whole Council to Mr. Brahimi’s efforts in the resolution of the Syrian crisis. In a draft press statement proposed by France, the priorities for future negotiations were set: fighting against terrorism and the establishment of a transitional governing body. This statement was rejected by the Russian and Chinese delegations.

- On 18 March 2014, the Security Council met on the situation in the Middle East in presence of Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

During the closed consultations that followed, the Permanent Representative of France urged both parties to agree without delay on the agenda and the working method as proposed by Joint Special Representative L. Brahimi, so that a third round of negotiations between the two delegations can be held. He furthermore underlined the need for the rapid and full implementation by the Syrian regime of resolution 2139 on humanitarian access in the country.

- One month after the adoption of the resolution calling for access of humanitarian aid to Syria, the Security Council held private consultations on 28 March 2014 to assess its implementation. Mrs Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, expressed concern at the lack of implementation of the resolution as well as at the continuing violation of human rights, especially by the Syrian regime.

The Permanent Representative of France deplored that the 2139 resolution was not implemented. He reminded that the Security Council had warned of further actions. This option needed to be examined.

- On 3 April 2014, one week after the release of the Secretary General’s report on the progress made in the implementation of resolution 2118, the members of the Security Council met in private consultations to hear Ms. Sigrid Kaag, UN Coordinator for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Permanent Representative of France recalled that it was crucial that the Syrian authorities resume their operations without delay in order to respect the 30 June deadline. The Permanent Representative also expressed concerns that twelve chemical weapons production facilities were not destroyed. There was a need to study closely the plan for destruction presented by Syria to the OPCW in order to ensure the complete dismantling of the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal.

- On 8 April 2014, the members of the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Navi Pillay, on the human rights situation in Syria, in the Central African Republic, in South Sudan and in Libya.

The Permanent Representative of France expressed concerns about the deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in Syria. The reports of the Independent Inquiry Committee and of the High Commission for Human Rights relating cases of torture, of starvation as weapon of war and of sexual abuse were alarming. It was essential that the Security Council speaks with a single voice in order to envisage a referral to the ICC to hold accountable those responsible of the most serious crimes.

- On 15 April 2014, following the release of the “Caesar” report to the Security Council on the mass torture of detainees by the Syrian regime, France organized an informal session of the Security Council (“Arria” format) to allow a presentation of the report and photographs on which it is based. Two of the experts, members of the investigative team which certified the witnessed of the photos and prepared the report, Professor David Crane, first chief Prosecutor to the Special Court of Sierra Leone, and Doctor Stuart J. Hamilton, forensic medical expert of the Britannic Home Office register, presented the document.

The report was subsequently presented to the press.

- At the request of France, the Security Council gathered in private emergency consultations on 17 April 2014 to discuss the humanitarian situation in the city of Homs.

Ms Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and Mr Oscar Fernandez Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, reported their deepest concern to the Council regarding the intense fighting taking place in the old city of Homs, in violation of the cease-fire requested by resolution 2139.

The Permanent Representative of France expressed strong concern regarding the degradation of the situation for the civilians in Homs. He strongly encouraged the Council to collectively express their concern and to recall the importance of humanitarian law.

At the end of these consultations, Russia blocked the adoption of a press statement by the Security Council.

- During private consultations on 23 April 2014, Ms Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the Joint UN-OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) Mission informed the Council on the progress made by the Syrian regime in the evacuation of chemical weapons from Syria.

The Permanent Representative of France noted that 88% of the chemical weapons stocks had been evacuated to this day. However, he underlined that the full evacuation of the Syrian Chemical Weapons stockpiles did not mean the end of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, as the recent allegations of chlorine use by the regime have shown.

- On 29 April 2014, the Security Council met on the situation in the Middle East, including the state of the peace process in the Middle East, in presence of Mr. Robert Serry, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, and Mr. Ron Prosor, Permanent Representative of Palestine.

Mr. Serry regretted the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, violence and the attacks of the regime against civilians (use of torture on an industrial scale or use of explosive barrels) , as well as the non-implementation of resolution 2139 on humanitarian access, and urged the regime to stop these massacres. The majority of the members of the Security Council condemned the human rights violations, war crimes of the Syrian regime and non-compliance with its obligations. They also expressed concerns about the allegations of use of chlorine gas by the regime and welcomed the announcement by the OPCW to conduct an investigation in this regard.

The Permanent representative of France condemned the holding of the presidential election to take place on 3 June. It ran counter to the Geneva communique, had no value and no credibility in a country where there was a policy of terror. Finally, he called for referral to the ICC.

- The Security Council met in private consultations on 30 April 2014 to hear the second report from the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 2139 on humanitarian access in Syria. Ms Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, reported on an obstruction of humanitarian aid on the ground. She regretted the total disregard for humanitarian law from the parties in conflict.

The Permanent Representative of France strongly condemned the violations of human rights and humanitarian law by the Syrian regime. He recalled France’s commitment to allow a referral to the International Criminal Court by the Security Council.

- On 8 May 2014, the members of the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear Mrs. Sigrid Kaag, UN Coordinator for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, on the progress made by the UN-OPCW (United Nations - Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) Joint Mission to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons program pursuant to resolution 2118.

The Permanent Representative of France recalled that 8% of chemical weapons precursors remained to be evacuated and destroyed. Moreover, twelve production facilities still had to be destroyed and several inconsistencies in the Syrian National statement needed to be clarified by the mission of the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW. The mandate of the joint mission did not terminate on 30 June; the mission had to prolong its mission as long as necessary, while adapting its format to the needs by reducing its workforce and by refocusing on the residual activities. Finally, the Permanent Representative welcomed the launching by the OPCW’s Director-General of the investigation into allegations around use of chlorine gas by the regime.

- Following the public announcement of his resignation on 13 May 2014 from the position of Joint Special Representative of the Arab League and of the UN on Syria, Mr Lakhdar Brahimi shared his analysis of his mediation during closed consultations with the Security Council.

The Permanent Representative of France thanked Mr Brahimi for his work. He regretted that the negotiations between the regime and the opposition were being compromised by the upcoming fake presidential elections in Syria. He called once more for a full implementation of resolution 2139 on humanitarian access. He recalled France’s support to a political resolution to the crisis, based on the Geneva Communiqué.

Finally, he reminded that France had presented a draft resolution to the Council for a referral to the International Criminal Court of the situation in Syria since the beginning of the conflict. The majority of the Council’s delegations supported this initiative.

- On 20 May 2014, the Security Council met on the situation in the Middle East, including the state of the peace process in the Middle East, in presence of Mr. Oscar Fernandez Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

During the closed consultations that followed, the Representative of France deplored the military strategy of the Syrian regime relying on violations of international humanitarian law (mass torture, use of barrel bombs, use of chemical weapons…) and the fake presidential elections scheduled for 3 June. The humanitarian blockade continued and terrorist groups were working with the regime against the moderate opposition. In this context and in the face of those atrocities, France would propose on 22 May to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

- On 22 May 2014, France submitted to the Security Council a draft Resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, in order to put an end to impunity for those responsible of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria. Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, spoke on behalf of the Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon. He called on the sense of responsibility of the Security Council to act in order to put an end to the massacre in Syria. He underlined that the Syrian people had a fundamental right to justice.

The Permanent Representative of France called on the members of the Security Council to vote in favor of the draft resolution. He stressed the moral imperative of allowing justice in Syria. 13 members of the Security Council voted in favor of the draft resolution. Russia and China vetoed and prevented the adoption of the text.

The Permanent Representative of France addressed the press after the vote.

- On 4 June 2014, the members of the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear Mrs. Sigrid Kaag, UN Coordinator for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, on progress made by the Mission to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons program pursuant to resolution 2118.

The Permanent Representative of France recalled that the 30 June deadline for complete destruction of the Syrian arsenal and of its production facilities would not be respected and that several inconsistencies in the Syrian National statement needed to be clarified, which justified the continuation of the UN and OPCW Joint Mission. The Permanent Representative further recalled that there was growing evidence in allegations of use of chlorine gas, in breach of resolution 2118. Finally, the reelection of Bachar al-Assad was a direct violation of the Geneva Communiqué and the negation of the search for political transition in Syria.

- On 26 June 2014, the Security Council held a public meeting to hear Mrs Valerie Amos, head of OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), and Mr Bashar al-Jafari, Permanent Representative of Syria, on the fourth report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 2139 regarding humanitarian access in Syria.

Violence was ongoing. Despite the truce in Yarmouk on 21 June, it was still difficult for humanitarian personnel to deliver aid: only 1% of besieged people –a few thousands- had access to aid. However, Mrs Amos estimated that 10.5 million people were in need of humanitarian aid in Syria. She reminded that obstructing access of humanitarian aid was a war crime. Arbitrary obstructions by the Syrian regime had increased over the past month. Mrs Amos asked the Council’s help so the parties in conflict held on to their international obligations.

The Permanent Representative of Syria accused Mrs Amos of presenting false numbers of displaced people and people in need. He accused the UN of increasing the terrorist threat in Syria with its humanitarian convoys on the ground.

During private consultations that followed, the Permanent Representative of France regretted that resolution 2139 was not implemented, four months after its unanimous adoption by the Security Council. He expressed deep concern at the use of barrel bombs in complete violation of resolution 2139. The ongoing war made complicated humanitarian access in Syria but the main responsibility for the obstructions went to the Syrian regime. He called for the Council to take measures accordingly.

- On 7 July 2014, the members of the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear Mrs. Sigrid Kaag, UN Coordinator for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, on progress made by the Mission to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons program pursuant to resolution 2118.

The Permanent Representative of France recalled that an important step had been taken for destruction of the Syrian arsenal but further efforts still had to be made. He insisted on the Security Council’s need to remain vigilant regards the destruction of Syrian production facilities in accordance with OPCU standards. The Permanent Representative further recalled that there was growing evidence regarding the use of chlorine gas by the regime. Finally, he emphasized the importance of the fight against impunity in Syria. It was a political and moral obligation.

- On 30 July 2014, the Security Council held a public meeting to hear Mrs Valerie Amos, head of OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

The Representative of France welcomed the adoption of resolution 2165, adopted on 14 July, and which opens four border crossing points for the delivery of emergency humanitarian aid. He also praised the prompt action of the United Nations and dedication of the humanitarian workers. However, although the first convoy had been delivered, access to areas with humanitarian need was still insufficient. It was unacceptable that the Syrian regime continues to block the provision of humanitarian assistance and to step up controls at cross-lines to curb the effects of resolution 2165.



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