Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - May 4, 2016)
• International humanitarian law ⁄ Unanimous adoption of resolution 2286 on the protection of medical personnel and facilities in conflict situations (May 3, 2016) – Reminder of the statement issued by the minister of foreign affairs and international development
• United Kingdom – Meeting between Harlem Désir and David Lidington (Paris - May 4, 2016)
Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will attend a meeting devoted to Syria today in Berlin together with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, and Riad Hijab, head of the High Negotiations Committee.
While violations of the truce are increasing, mainly because of the regime, we must mobilize the international community and work toward establishing the conditions that will allow the negotiations to continue in Geneva, reduce the violence and improve the humanitarian situation. The cessation of hostilities agreement agreed upon on February 27 must be upheld.
In this context, an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council devoted to the situation in Aleppo will take place today at our request and at the UK’s request. The regime’s offensive has left more than 250 people dead and thousands injured, most of them civilians, in ten days.
France expects the members of the Security Council to bring the necessary pressure to bear on the Syrian regime to get it to stop bombing the civilian populations and comply with the cessation of hostilities endorsed by UNSCR 2268.
As Jean-Marc Ayrault indicated, we would also like a meeting of the International Syria Support Group to be held as swiftly as possible in order to obtain guarantees regarding the maintenance of the truce, compliance with international obligations, notably the regime’s compliance with international humanitarian law, and the relaunching of the negotiations for a political transition, in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué and UNSCR 2254.
International humanitarian law ⁄ Unanimous adoption of resolution 2286 on the protection of medical personnel and facilities in conflict situations (May 3, 2016) – Reminder of the statement issued by the minister of foreign affairs and international development
I welcome the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council of resolution 2286 on the protection of medical personnel and facilities in conflict situations. France actively contributed to the drafting of this text, which strongly condemns attacks against medical personnel.
The number of attacks against hospitals has increased over the last few years in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Afghanistan. According to the World Health Organization, 654 medical personnel have been killed in Syria since the start of the war. A few days ago in Aleppo, one of the city’s last pediatricians was killed in a bombing raid deliberately targeted against a hospital, which killed more than 20 people, including patients.
The Geneva Conventions signed in 1949 prohibit the targeting of medical personnel and hospitals. These violations of international humanitarian law, which may constitute war crimes, are unacceptable and must not go unpunished.
On this occasion, I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding courage and dedication of medical personnel and humanitarian workers who risk their lives to help the sick and injured.
Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, will receive his British counterpart, David Lidington, today for a working lunch.
This meeting will provide an opportunity to take stock of relations between the United Kingdom and the EU in the context of the referendum on June 23, the fight against terrorism—notably against Daesh—as well as migration issues.
Harlem Désir and David Lidington will also take stock of our bilateral relations following the UK-France Summit on March 3, 2016.