I would like to thank both Mr. Geir Pedersen and Mr. Martin Griffiths for their important briefings. I also welcome the participation of Mr. Hossam Zaki, Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, and thank him for his briefing, which highlighted the impact of the Syrian crisis on neighboring Arab countries. We would like to note that the last briefing by the League of Arab States to the Council on Syria was in 2012. It is important to strengthen cooperation between the Council and the League to find Arab solutions to Arab crises, including Syria, since its stability is an essential pillar of Arab security.
To address the political situation, the UAE believes that there is an urgent need to find practical and effective solutions to end the Syrian crisis, especially considering that the war in Syria has entered its twelfth year, resulting in more than 6.5 million refugees worldwide. This can be done by adopting a practical and logical approach. We seek diplomatic solutions to crises and call for an effective Arab role to discuss ways to solve the Syrian crisis instead of merely managing it. The Syrian President’s recent visit to the UAE is a result of that approach.
We continue to support the efforts of the United Nations to reach a political solution in accordance with resolution 2254, including the efforts of Mr. Geir Pedersen to converge regional and international political views on addressing the effects of the Syrian crisis.
We also welcome the convening of the seventh session of the Constitutional Committee as well as the positive developments regarding the agreement to discuss the constitutional principles in the past few days. Further progress requires all parties to continue engaging in dialogue in good faith and to take tangible steps in that direction.
As we call for strengthening the Arab role in Syria as part of the effort to end the crisis, we also renew our rejection of foreign interference in Syria, whose sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity must be respected.
Turning to the humanitarian situation, we re-emphasize that it is unacceptable to leave the Syrian people, including those who are displaced, to face horrendous conditions in which they lack the most basic needs, such as electricity, food, and drinking water. Syrian children have been particularly affected by these conditions, since most of them have lived through the atrocities of war and its consequences. The worsening of the economic situation affects every Syrian citizen. The World Food Programme reports that food prices in Syria have risen to unprecedented levels, causing a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.
Regarding the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, providing medical supplies to the Syrian people remains a priority for the UAE. Approximately six percent of the country has been fully vaccinated, which requires greater attention from the international community.
In this regard, the UAE has completed the construction of two field hospitals in Damascus and Aleppo to treat those infected with Covid-19. Additionally, we have also completed a vaccination program for Syrian refugees in Jordan, which sought to vaccinate 12,000 refugees in the Emirati-Jordanian camp in Murajib Al Fhood as well as the camps of Zaatari, Azraq, and Al-Hadzeh. We also underscore the importance of providing support to Arab countries affected by the Syrian crisis, especially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Republic of Iraq, the Republic of Lebanon, and the Arab Republic of Egypt, in order to assist them in providing basic services to refugees.
The UAE underscores the importance of continuing the delivery of humanitarian aid across the border into Syria, in accordance with resolution 2585. All concerned parties on the ground must cooperate to ensure that humanitarian aid through crossline operations reaches those in need.
In conclusion, a political solution to the Syrian crisis is still possible, especially when we combine efforts to overcome current obstacles. We must move away from merely managing the crisis and move toward solving it in order to meet the aspirations and basic needs of the Syrian people.