PACE, The Party of the Citizens of Europe, in consistency with its Resolution N° 1 on Syria dated 19th  September, 2013 (see http://localhost/wordpress/en/pace-adopte-une-resolution-sur-la-syrie/),

  • Considering that the use of chemical weapons in Syria constitutes a war crime, the persons responsible of which shall have to be judged by a competent court, as soon as the conditions will be met;
  • Considering that the use of such weapons cannot be tolerated, and observing that France has been consistent on this issue for the past 5 years;
  • Observing, from this point of view, that the Western air strikes of 13th April 2018 aimed to be a warning to the Syrian regime on the use of such weapons; that these strikes have had a very limited effect, since the decisive power balance takes place on the ground, and that it is not possible to assess as yet their diplomatic and political impact;
  • Observing that any military operation of this type:

-has the paradoxical effect of uniting a large proportion of the Syrian population around President Bashar Al-Assad;

-makes even more difficult the situation of Middle-Eastern Christians who could easily find themselves being perceived once more as allies of the “crusaders”;

-deepens misunderstanding between Western countries and Arab world’s public opinions;

  • Considering that the establishment of a democracy and of the Rule of Law cannot stem from foreign military interventions but can only derive from an internal political process which often requires much time, once peace is ensured and some societal conditions are met;
  • Observing that the governmental forces, supported by Russia and Iran, are taking back control over Syria;
  • Considering that no military operation should take place without a previous green light from the UN but observing also that in the Syrian case, as on many other issues, the UN Security Council is being paralysed by the veto procedure;

1) Requests from the United Kingdom and France:

That they provide evidence of the Syrian Governments’s responsibility in the chemical attacks of 7 April, 2018, so as to legitimate their strikes a posteriori;

2) Requests from every EU member state:

a. That they adopt a pragmatic approach by acknowledging that the Syrian civil war is probably coming to an end and that it is now necessary to support, in the very interest of the Syrian people, the political reunification of Syria, its economic and institutional reconstruction, and the return of refugees;

b. To take into account the interests of the Kurdish people in the final institutional set-up.

3) Requests from the President of the European Council, Mr Donald Tusk, and from the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms Federica Mogherini:

a. To seek common positions on Syria within the EU and to work more closely with Russia and Iran whose influence on Damascus is decisive;

b. To bring:

  • Enhanced support to the Syrian refugees living in neighbouring countries of Syria and in Europe itself, in particular in the fields of health and children education;
  • A non-military support to the Syrian political parties who defend democracy, secularity, gender equality and respect for minorities, avoiding bringing support to any type of islamist movement.

4) Requests from the United Kingdom and France:

That they draft, in close co-operation with the other members of the European Union and the Presidency of the European Council, a proposition aiming to modify the composition of the UN Security Council so that it better reflects the current balance of forces in the world[1], while safeguarding the interests of the European citizens, and that it can operate again; Pace advocates in particular that the possibility for China, France, Russia, the USA and the United Kingdom to hold up their right of veto within the Security Council be limited to 2 or 3 times for each three-year period, a measure which would drive these states to use it with more circumspection.



Done at Brussels on 20th April, 2018

[1] See Pace’s thinking on this issue in « Donne une voix à l’Europe », article « Quelle place pour l’Union européenne dans un Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies réformé », page 99 and following: