Delivered by H.E. Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative
Before I begin, I would like to join others in first expressing the UAE’s sincere condolences to the people and governments of Japan and Angola on the passing of Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the former President José Eduardo dos Santos, respectively.
Today we deeply regret that, despite the immense efforts made over the past few weeks, the Council has failed to adopt a resolution to extend the cross-border aid mechanism in Syria. We had hoped that this Council would be able to send a positive message today to the Syrian people, particularly over Eid Al-Adha —a sacred occasion that should remind us all of the importance of giving and of compromise.
We extend our thanks to Norway and Ireland, the penholders of the Syrian humanitarian file, for their tireless work towards reaching a compromise. The E10 spoke with one voice on its commitment to deliver on this Council’s mandate, and we hope that this unity can encourage all Council members to redouble their efforts in the coming hours and days to reach an agreement and extend the cross-border mechanism to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to millions of Syrians in need.
We supported a 12-month renewal of the cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism because of the clarity it provides to humanitarian actors and projects. However, given today’s result, the dire needs on the ground, and taking everyone’s concerns into account, we are ready to work with all parties on other options, including a nine month extension to ensure that the needs of millions of Syrians will be served in the winter and that the mechanism does not expire in the winter months when the needs of ordinary Syrians are at the greatest.
Ultimately, Syrian lives are at stake. The Council’s credibility is also at stake. Failure is not an option. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the Syrian people are not left without access to the most basic needs. And it is our solemn duty to rise above political spectacle, and as diplomats, I would urge us all to do our job, to find the compromise needed, to empower the penholders to do so, and we are close and we believe it can and should be done.
Thank you, Mr. President.