The geometric variability of respect for human rights, peace and security 

17 03 2022

Since the entry of Russian troops, under the orders of Vladimir Putin, into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, in violation of Article 2 of the United Nations Charter, many citizens in France and throughout the world have mobilized to denounce this serious violation of international law. These same citizens are asking their respective governments to support the Ukrainian population and some of them are calling for the sending of arms to the resistance to this invasion.

In this respect, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in its preamble specifies the right to self-defense of States as well as the right to acquire arms for one’s own defense. It also commits the exporting countries to an evaluation of the risks of using these arms, particularly in the face of extreme right-wing militias, and to ensure the risks of their diversion.

But the ATT first requires states to respect their international commitments regarding arms transfers, yet once again and according to Disclose’s information, the French government has authorized, in particular to the companies Thales and Safran, the export of war material to Russia in violation of the decision of the Council of the European Union of July 31, 2014, which instituted an arms embargo towards this country and this to the detriment of the populations of Ukraine and in violation of Article 7 of the ATT, which obliges an assessment of the risk of use of weapons so that they do not contribute to or undermine peace and security, do not participate in a violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. Indeed, whether it is the infrared detection equipment and cameras Catherine XP of Thales for or thermal cameras « Matis STD » of Safran, these weapons allow Russian tanks a greater effectiveness on the battlefields, as was the case in 2016 in the Donbass. The same is true for the TACAN navigation system from Thales, which equips the Sukhoi SU-30s that have been seen in Ukrainian airspace since February 24 and may have taken part in bombings that hit civilians.

History seems to be repeating itself, whatever the side, whatever the war, with the irresponsible arms export policy of the French government. It is to stop this that Action Sécurité Éthique Républicaines (ASER) is before the “Conseil d’Etat” in its request for the suspension of arms transfers to the countries of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates at war in Yemen, It is for this reason that ASER has demanded the cessation of French exports to Israel against the Palestinian population and it is also for this reason that ASER demands that a parliamentary inquiry be instituted, as of the new legislature, within the General Secretariat of Defense and National Security as well as with the Prime Minister, to find out the responsibilities of these arms transfers to Russia. But unfortunately, the list of non-compliance with the ATT does not end.

The ATT has among its objectives to contribute to peace and security and to reduce human suffering, and we know, because we have seen it in history, what war represents in terms of serious violations of human rights, war crimes, crimes against humanity, as we also see in Yemen, in the Sahel, in Syria, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Palestine, in Libya, in Iraq, in Ethiopia… It is always the people who bear the cost of war, in this « fog of war » that governments in search of power and absolute reason revel in. However, it is not enough to talk with one’s enemies – how many words have not been respected, on both sides, in the relationship between the West and Russia – it is necessary to take action in order to allow both sides to recognize each other’s legitimacy, not to drive one’s enemy into a headlong rush into an escalation of means in the destruction of the opposing side and thus a risk of a rise to extremes that could lead to a destruction of mankind even more rapid than the coming climate revolution 

For ASER, human rights are indivisible and universal in their implementation and the practice of the « great powers » of « Do what we say but don’t do what we do » is fortunately no longer audible for the majority of the world’s population because for many of its inhabitants, life is just as essential and precious in the Congo, in Gaza, in Yemen, in Ukraine or in Syria.

It is now up to the governments of the member countries of the United Nations, particularly the 5 permanent members of the Security Council, not only to proclaim it but to truly put it into action, otherwise, as Martin Luther King wrote, we will all perish together as fools.

Jean Claude, Alt, administrateur ASER

Joël Molinario, administrateur ASER

Benoît Muracciole Président ASER