Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
At the outset, I would like to thank Ms. Najat Rochdi and Ms. Edem Wosornu for their important briefings.
The war on Gaza, which started more than 50 days ago, has led to rising tensions in our region, including the military strikes in the Syrian territories. In this regard, we reiterate the importance of refraining from exploiting the fragile situation in Syria and dragging it into regional crises. This will only bring more suffering for the people of Syria, who continue to endure the repercussions of a bloody war and a catastrophic earthquake.
Amid these regional tensions, it has become more urgent than ever to intensify efforts for progress on the political track in Syria to achieve peace and security within the country and to support regional stability. The people of Syria deserve to have a better future, in which they enjoy peace and prosperity.
As we approach the end of this year, we hope that the Constitutional Committee will hold its meetings as soon as possible under Syrian leadership and ownership, free from any foreign interference. These meetings will help strengthen dialogue among the Syrian parties to end the crisis.
In the framework of confidence building between the Syrian parties, we believe that the amnesty decree issued by the Syrian government this month is another positive step in its endeavors within the political track. It is important to build on these steps together with the United Nations in the near future.
On the other hand, the UAE stresses the importance of de-escalation and a ceasefire throughout Syria. Such measures will safeguard Syria’s unity, independence, and territorial integrity, especially considering the recent escalation of hostilities in several Syrian regions.
We underscore here that achieving sustainable peace in Syria hinges upon the elimination of terrorist threats. The Da’esh terrorist group persistently destabilizes security and stability – not only within Syria but also in the entire region.
The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate to dangerous levels as a result of several underlying factors, including insecurity. This has resulted in damage to infrastructure and vital facilities, including health facilities, schools, and water networks. Furthermore, the targeting of Damascus International Airport led to the suspension of United Nations Humanitarian Air Services flights for nearly a month, adversely affecting the delivery of 2.3 tons of humanitarian aid to Syria.
There are also growing concerns over the rising prices of basic commodities to unprecedented levels, coupled with a sharp decline in the value of the Syrian currency. This situation has resulted in increased reliance on humanitarian aid, rendering the Syrian people unable to purchase their basic necessities, with 90% of the population now living below the poverty line.
To address these extremely alarming conditions, it is imperative to allow for the continued passage of humanitarian aid across all regions in Syria and by all available means. Delivery must be conducted on a large scale and tailored to the specific types of aid required on the ground, especially in winter. In this context, we welcome the Syrian government’s decision to extend the opening of the Bab al-Salama and Bab al-Rai crossings for an additional three months to meet humanitarian needs.
Simultaneously, it is critical to focus on early recovery projects, which can improve the living conditions of Syrians in a tangible and sustainable manner. Above all else, we must prioritize the interests of the the Syrian people above all considerations.
In conclusion, Mr. President, the UAE stresses the need to continue working towards a solution to the Syrian crisis and to end the suffering of the Syrian people, so that they can rebuild their country and repair what has been destroyed by war and disaster.
Thank you, Mr. President.