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14 April 2012 - Security Council - Syria/ Adoption of Resolution 2042 - Explanation of vote by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

France welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2042 (2012). We hope that it will mark a turning point in the crisis in Syria.

The point is to quickly deploy a strong and reliable United Nations mission with the task of verifying the implementation of Mr. Annan’s plan. With this resolution the Security Council makes that goal its own.

We hope that in the short term the resolution will open the way to an end to brutal violence and that we will be able to say to the Syrian people that the time of indiscriminate violence is finally over.

Since six o’clock Thursday morning the violence has subsided; however, the attacks against civilians in Homs today have confirmed the doubts that may exist as to the reality of the Syrian regime’s commitment.We will very soon know if Syria will fulfil its commitment. If that does not happen, it will be the responsibility of all members of the Council to consider the measures that should be taken. We will judge the Syrian regime by its acts and nothing else.

Let us be clear: this partial de-escalation of repression comes very late, after more than 10,000 Syrians have fallen to the brutal violence of the Damascus regime. The perpetrators of this barbaric repression of a peaceful civilian population will not go unpunished, and I am happy that today, finally, the Security Council has been unanimous in recognizing their criminal responsibility.

Above all, we cannot consider this de-escalation of repression to be enough; it is up to the Syrian Government to fully and immediately fulfil the commitments it has made to the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States. The collective message we are sending today is an appeal for a halt to violence in every form — not just heavy artillery but also torture, arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances and sexual violence, all of which are violations of human rights and have been committed systematically and on a huge scale by the Syrian regime’s security forces for 13 months.

Today’s resolution enables the deployment of an advance mission to observe and assess the halt to the violence and to test the seriousness of the Syrians’ commitment before authorizing a mission with enough scope to cover the whole territory. Such a mission cannot act without the withdrawal of the Syrian authorities’ troops and heavy weaponry, as Mr. Annan requested in the Security Council and as today’s resolution recalls. Nor can it act if the Syrian regime does not respect the guarantees required of it by the Council. It is up to all Council members to reinforce that message to the Syrian authorities. In sending this first mission, and, we hope, a second one soon after, we are not seeking merely to freeze the situation on the ground. The Council is supporting Mr. Annan’s plan of action, designed to facilitate Syria’s political transition to democracy in order to meet the aspirations that the Syrian people have so courageously expressed. Those are the conditions for launching the political process that we are attempting today to create on the ground by ending the violence and restoring the hope of the Syrian people that a peaceful political solution is possible.

This resolution marks another turning point: the rediscovered capacity of the international community to speak with one voice in response to the Syrian crisis and to contribute to a peaceful transition to democracy. That return by all to responsible action is another reason to rejoice. It is unquestionably a genuine reason for hope for the people of Syria.

I would also like to stress France’s appreciation for the efforts of the United Nations, the Secretary-General and Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, whose task is as difficult as it is crucial. It is thanks to all of their efforts that we have been able to act as one.

But that consensus is fragile. The line separating us from the abyss of a civil war or its regional ramifications is a narrow one. Let us not deceive ourselves: there can be no other process if this one founders through the irresponsible actions of some who have stubbornly propped up a regime that has given proof of how unworthy it is to govern Syria.

Today we finally have a hope of a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria. France therefore solemnly calls on all members of the Council to support unreservedly the efforts aimed at meeting the aspirations of the Syrian people.



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