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8 juillet 2008 - Zimbabwe : Stake out de M. Jean-Maurice Ripert, Représentant permanent de la France auprès des Nations unies

I would like to stress the importance of the meeting we will have this morning in the Security Council. It is very important that we hear the report of Mrs. Migiro, because, of course, we will make some decisions -we hope during this week- based partly on this report.

You have heard that this morning, in Japan, in the G8, there was some common understanding and agreement to condemn the way the elections were carried out and to refuse the results of those elections. Also to request that any national unity government or any government that will be created in Zimbabwe fully respects the will of the population, at it was expressed during the elections of the 29th of March. And to respect the rights of the opposition, because obviously the leader of the opposition, M. Tsvangirai, won the first round of the elections.

We also have a thought for the people of Zimbabwe, who are deprived of their liberty, and who are in very poor conditions right now. If nothing happens, unfortunately, despite the efforts carried out by the African Union and SADC, and President Thabo Mbeki -who we are grateful for what he is trying to achieve, but who did not provide us with any positive move forward until now- then we will have to consider tougher measures in the Security Council. And you know that France and the European Union are favouring some tough decisions, meaning sanctions individually targeted so that the people does not suffer more in Zimbabwe than they already do. And we will be supportive of any initiative and, namely, of the resolution tabled by the American delegation to that effect.

The African Union is rejecting more sanctions, how would that influence the Security Council ?

The Security Council has to make its own decision. The Security Council is in charge of peace and security throughout the world and we respect fully what the leaders of the African Union have decided. You have heard from the Presidency of the European Union that the debate was very tough in the African Union. You know that many countries are in favour of adopting more sanctions, once again targeted sanctions against the people responsible for violence, responsible for the fraud, responsible for the fake elections. So, the Security Council has to take its own responsibility. We think that the situation in Zimbabwe creates some threats to international peace and security, certainly at the regional level, and probably at the international level, due to the massive violations of human rights which are committed there.

Do you think you will have the 9 votes necessary to pass the resolution ?

Yes we think so.

And do you think the vote could be this week ?

We hope so.

(Question inaudible)

I do not know, you should ask all the countries, but it is obvious that there is global support for tougher measures. And we hope we will pass the resolution.

Monsieur l’Ambassadeur, est-ce que votre rôle de Président de l’Union européenne va peser dans la balance du Conseil de sécurité ? Est-ce que cela peut aider ?

Certainement. Ce que je peux vous confirmer c’est qu’il y a un accord unanime des Etats membres de l’Union européenne qui se sont exprimés très clairement il y a quelques jours à travers une déclaration de la Présidence. L’Union européenne est d’ailleurs actuellement en train de revoir son propre dispositif de sanctions - puisque je vous rappelle que nous avons déjà un dispositif de sanctions individuelles au niveau de l’Union européenne.

Je n’ai senti aucune divergence au sein de l’Union européenne, maintenant c’est le Conseil de sécurité. Ce que je peux vous dire c’est que les Etats membres de l’Union européenne membres du Conseil de sécurité sont d’accord pour soutenir le texte américain. Nous nous porterons probablement tous co-auteurs, et il n’y a pas de divergences entre Européens sur ce point.

And on the Middle East resolution ?

Yes, there are some discussions. You know that there is a resolution that was tabled by the Arab Group on the settlements. There were also some elements that many delegations, including France, wish to add to this resolution. Our position on settlements is very clear, the French President has condemned very clearly the continuing policy of settlements , both at the Knesset and when he was in Ramallah.

But also at the same time we think if the Security Council is to pass a resolution for the first time for many years, it would not be fair to address only that concern, which is of key importance. We should address other elements of the peace process, including the support for the Annapolis process, the creation of two States before the end of the year, including of course condemnation of terrorism, and the necessity for everybody, including the Palestinian Authority to fight with tougher measures against terrorism, including addressing the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and so on.
So, we want to have a more comprehensive resolution. So, we have passed on with other members of the Security Council - meaning the European members of the Security Council - yesterday night some elements to the Libyan delegation. And we hope there will be consultations today and tomorrow if needed, to go to see what we can achieve together. And we hope there could be a consensus in the Security Council, if not this week, next week. So that we can pass together a resolution.

(Question inaudible)

No, that is not my feeling. I have the feeling the everybody is condemning terrorism, no ? My feeling is that everybody is supportive of the Annapolis process. Everybody thinks there should be more access to Gaza and that the people of Gaza could enjoy a more food, medications, and could live in better conditions. So, my feeling is that there is an agreement among the members states of the Security Council on all those elements, and this is the reason why we think it is worth trying, at least. What we would like is to try, this week, and we will see what we can achieve./.

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