Delivered by: His Excellency Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative and Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.
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I thank Mr. Geir Pedersen and Mr. Martin Griffiths for their valuable briefings.
Over the past years, the issues surrounding the Syrian crisis have become more complex. They include refugees, internally displaced persons, foreign interventions, terrorism, and economic collapse, among others. This year added more unsettling developments, especially at the geopolitical level. In light of these multifaceted issues, we must prioritize the needs of the Syrian people. Their interests must prevail above all other considerations, especially during the upcoming renewal of the Cross-Border Mechanism for the delivery of humanitarian aid into Syria. The renewal should not be politicized due to its humanitarian nature.
Regarding the political file, and in the context of recent developments in Syria, we stress the need to adhere to dialogue, the principles of good neighborliness, and the need for de-escalation in the region. We also reaffirm our rejection of foreign interventions in Syrian affairs and demand an end to any foreign interference to safeguard Syria’s sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity.
It is unfortunate that the political stalemate continues, a matter that requires intensifying diplomatic efforts at different levels to support a peaceful solution, which remains the only way to end the Syrian crisis. There is a need to move beyond the state of paralysis that has afflicted the Constitutional Committee in previous months by convening again. We appreciate the efforts of the Special Envoy for Syria, and we reaffirm that this Committee is currently the only platform for conducting a constructive national dialogue between Syrians, under Syrian leadership and ownership, without external interferences, and separate from geopolitical complications. The aim should be advancing the constitutional process, and this includes a clear timeframe and an agreed-upon plan for the next steps, not only logistical matters.
Turning to the humanitarian situation, Mr. President, we stress the importance of early recovery projects which contribute to building Syrian societies and restore their infrastructure, including the delivery of electricity to many Syrians, which in turn allows access to other basic services. We are pleased, in this regard, with the contributions of 158 out of 374 early recovery projects of the UN Humanitarian Response plan in providing electricity to homes, hospitals, and schools, in addition to projects involving renewable energy.
Considering the alarming spread of the cholera outbreak in Syria, we thank the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for its tireless efforts in responding urgently to this issue, especially in recent months. This includes extending the response plan to the outbreak for a period of six months, due to the continuing enormous needs in all Syrian governorates. On a larger scale, we stress the importance of delivering humanitarian aid to all regions in Syria, both across borders and across conflict lines. At the same time, our goal has to be to increase cross-line deliveries. We welcome, in this regard, the delivery of aid to the Ras al-Ain area and the crossing of the eighth convoy into northwest Syria, which included more humanitarian aid than previous convoys.
The camps in Syria are witnessing an increase in the level of violence, particularly in the Al-Hol camp in northeast Syria, where the number of murder cases reached 42 this year alone, including the gruesome killing of two girls in Al-Hol earlier this month. This situation necessitates redoubling international efforts to ensure the protection of thousands of women and children in these camps.
In conclusion, we affirm that urgent need to ending the Syrian crisis and its humanitarian repercussions which continue to worsen. There is a need to break the current stalemate on the political track, with the aim to support stability and security in Syria and the region.
Thank you, Madam President.