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11 August 2009 - Burma: Interview of Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations by the BBC World Service (Evening Report)


Jean-Pierre Lacroix: The US delegation has circulated a draft statement which essentially condemns the verdict and calls for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. We will continue our discussion tomorrow and we will certainly work for a speedy reaction by the Security Council.

(BBC journalist: So you put that message to the full United Nations Security Council fifteen members. What was the atmosphere in that meeting?)

I think we’ve heard from most of the Security Council members strong concern at the verdict. Now, some delegations requested to send that draft statement that I had alluded to back to their capitals for instructions and we respect that, it’s the usual proceeding at the Security Council.

(They opposed it, they wanted a clarification from their capitals but effectively they knew theirs capitals were going to oppose it so they wanted time to discuss their strategy)

That, we’ll see tomorrow. I cannot prejudge positions of these delegations.

(Which countries wanted more time?)

We all know pretty much what the dynamic at the Council is. Some Member States are reluctant to have the Council addressed the issue of Myanmar. They are not many them, but they are important partners. Let me remind you that we have had several unanimous positions by the Council on Myanmar.

(Which delegates referred this that back to their capital cities? Are you going to name some countries? Was it Russia and China?)

It is not for me to name these countries.

([…]You mentioned there was an agreement on a statement earlier this year but that’s not a full Security Council Resolution. When it comes to the resolutions, it does cause major frictions and in the past, I know these discussions have degenerated into near shouting matches. Was there any kind of atmosphere like that over the last few hours?)

No, it was very serious atmosphere, very work-like atmosphere. We haven’t seen the kind of tensions that you’re referring to.

(Were Russia and China opposed to this?)

As I said, I don’t want to enter into specific details about the delegations. But definitely, I would say that China, obviously, and Russia as well are important partners in this discussion and we certainly have to work with them.

(What chance is there, do you think, of that resolution being adopted in the short term? A resolution that calls for Aung San Suu Kyi to be released so that she can take part in these extremely important elections?)

First of all, this might sound technical but the draft that has been put forward by the US is a draft presidential statement, it has to be adopted by all Members of the Security Council, it’s not a draft resolution. But more important is the question "what are the chances". I can’t tell you, the only thing I can tell you is that we will work at full speed and we will do our best. Then, it’s only by building up the kind of critical mass within the international community that we can hope to achieve the results which we are looking for.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU