United Nations Security Council Briefing and Consultaion on the Situation in Syria (Humanitarian)
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL BRIEFING AND CONSULTATIONS ON THE SITUATION IN SYRIA (HUMANITARIAN)
Thank you, Mr. President, for giving me the floor,
I have the honour to deliver this joint statement on behalf of the A3 member states comprising Gabon, Ghana and Kenya. We are grateful to Secretary General Antonio Guterres for his statement and thank USG Martin Griffiths and the civil society representative for their briefings. We also welcome the participation of the representatives of Syria, Iran, and Turkey in this meeting. As highlighted in today’s briefings, the prevailing humanitarian situation in Syria that has brought untold hardship and suffering to ordinary Syrians for more than a decade remains a matter of grave concern to us. After more than a decade of violence, Syrians are exhausted from the impact of the conflict and look forward to the intercession of the international community to end the conflict and alleviate their suffering.
We are deeply concerned that the predicament of the Syrian people is further exacerbated by a number of persistent challenges, including civilian casualties resulting from mine explosions, sporadic air strikes and shelling in some parts of the country. At the same time, food insecurity brought about by the raging conflict has given rise to an unprecedented number of women and children suffering from rising rates of malnutrition while the reduced water levels of the Euphrates River and the Alouk water station has given rise to acute shortages of portable water which is severely impacting the populations within the affected areas in the country.
We denounce the continued atrocities and mayhem visited on defenseless Syrians by terrorists’ groups such as Da’esh and the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). We therefore condemn unreservedly the launch of sporadic attacks by Da’esh on civilians in areas across Dayr al-Zawr, Hasakah and Eastern rural Homs and Hama during the period under review. The A3 calls for a concerted effort by all stakeholders to bring the culprits of these barbaric acts to book and to ensure justice for the victims. We are equally concerned about the increasing number of deaths of humanitarian aid workers in Syria, who ensure that critical life-saving assistance gets to those in need. The killing of a Syrian aid worker in a carbomb this month, bringing the number of such fatalities in the north-western part of the country to 23 since 2020, highlights the troubling dangers aid workers face as they risk their lives on daily basis to provide needed assistance to vulnerable populations in the country. The A3 reiterates the responsibilities of the conflicting parties for the protection of civilians and humanitarian workers and stresses the need to ensure accountability.
We wish to express our unwavering support for the on-going efforts of the United Nations and other international partners to address the deteriorating humanitarian condition in both government and non-government-controlled areas. The A3 notes with satisfaction, the UN Cross-Border operations which benefits almost 60 per cent of the 4.1 million Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance each month and commend the scale-up in the cross-line aid delivery of essential humanitarian supplies to about forty-three thousand people in the north-western part of the country, under the aegis of the UN inter-agency operational plan and this Council’s Resolution 2585 (2021).
Notwithstanding the wider reach of the cross-border delivery mechanism, the A3 is united in its view that aid delivery across the front lines is equally essential, and we therefore wish to call for the continuation of the cross-line aid delivery mechanism as it supplements the UN facilitated cross-border deliveries. Taking cognizance of the impending expiry of the mandate of this Council’s Resolution 2585 on 10th July 2022, the A3 wishes to express its full support for the renewal of the mandate and urge the Council to unanimously support its renewal to safeguard the continuous delivery of life-saving humanitarian aid to the beneficiaries in North-West Syria. Given the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country, it is imperative for unhindered humanitarian access to be granted to all areas where people are in need of such assistance. We therefore call for the removal of all physical and administrative obstructions impeding the delivery of life-saving aid to the people.
In concluding, while reiterating our collective call for a nation-wide ceasefire and the pressing need for negotiation among the parties towards a political settlement that will bring comprehensive and lasting peace and stability to Syria in the long term, we wish to reiterate our joint call for support for the renewal of the mandate of Resolution 2585, as not doing so will plunge the north-western part of the country into an even deeper catastrophic humanitarian crisis. At the same time, we call for respect of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria.
I thank you for your attention.