Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the UN, on the Security Council draft resolution on the situation in the Middle East

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November 15, 2023

Mr. President,

France would like to thank Malta for preparing this resolution. We are pleased that this Council is able to speak with one voice for the first time since the barbaric terrorist attacks committed by Hamas and other terrorist groups against Israel on the 7th of October.

France voted in favor of this resolution, which calls for the establishment of urgent and extended humanitarian pauses, and also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other terrorist groups.

France voted in favor of this resolution because the humanitarian situation in Gaza is already catastrophic. France is fully committed to respond to the urgency of the situation. We took the initiative of an international humanitarian conference for the civilian population in Gaza, which was held in Paris on the 9th of November under the auspices of the President of the Republic and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. The resolution adopted today mentions several essential needs: food, water, fuel and medicines, which must be delivered to the civilian population in Gaza. France recalls its call for the opening of unhindered, lasting humanitarian access, allowing humanitarian assistance to reach Palestinians in sufficient quantities. Additional efforts must be made. We must also mobilize sufficient resources. France has already deployed more than 100 tonnes of humanitarian goods and brought its humanitarian support to 100 million euros.

However, France deeply regrets that several essential messages are not included in this resolution. This Council must therefore, as agreed and right away, continue its work to achieve a broader expression. It must unequivocally condemn the terrorist attacks by Hamas. It must recall Israel’s right to defend itself and to protect its population, and the duty to do so in strict and absolute respect of international humanitarian law. It must call for an immediate and lasting truce that could lead to a ceasefire, and call for avoiding a regional spillover. Lastly, the Council must recall that there is a need for a decisive relaunch of negotiations to achieve a two-state solution on the basis of agreed parameters, the only way for Israelis and Palestinians alike to live in peace and security.

This Council cannot and must not remain silent on these elements. It must be demanding and be up to the stakes in this crisis, which was triggered on October 7 by the Hamas attacks.

France will continue to actively engage in the negotiations, with all the members of this Council.

Thank you.

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