Delivered by: Mrs. Amiera AlHefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative
At the outset, I thank Mr. Geir Pedersen and Ms. Joyce Msuya for their thorough briefings.
Our meeting today comes at a time when the political process in Syria is going through a state of stagnation and the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. Not to mention, there are numerous difficult security challenges that raise many questions and concerns regarding the next stage of the conflict and the fate of the Syrian people, who have suffered immensely for over a decade.
In the past few months, there was an opportunity to make progress in the meetings of the Constitutional Committee, marking an essential step forward in the political track. However, we regret the events that took place and led to the cancellation of the ninth round of meetings due to geopolitical reasons. It begs the question: how long will Syria remain a playground for settling political scores, of which the Syrian people are the primary victims?
Thus, in the coming period, we believe it is critical to mobilize momentum for a return to the talks. This first requires the international community to stop linking the Syrian file to other political files, and second, to provide its support for the mediation efforts led by the Special Envoy aimed at building confidence between the parties. We reiterate here our rejection of foreign intervention in Syria to preserve its unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. We believe that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis. Reaching a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned peaceful solution is the only way to end the crisis and address the root causes of all its humanitarian, economic, and security ramifications in a sustainable manner that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people to achieve stability, security, and prosperity. We reiterate here our rejection of foreign intervention in Syria to preserve its unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. We believe that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis. Reaching a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned peaceful solution is the only way to end the crisis and address the root causes of all its humanitarian, economic, and security ramifications in a sustainable manner that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people to achieve stability, security, and prosperity.
We express our concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria. Women and children bear the greatest burden as a result of these conditions, and millions of people continue suffer from a shortage of clean and safe water. Furthermore, acute food insecurity has reached unprecedented levels, affecting more than 12 million Syrians. Providing electricity to Syrians also remains an urgent need, which requires intensified efforts to achieve this goal, in line with the recent Security Council Resolution 2642. As the Secretary-General’s report indicates, hundreds of thousands of residents receive only one hour of electricity per day. Electricity is provided in public service facilities, such as hospitals and schools, for only eight hours a day in approximately half of the country’s regions, which greatly impacts the living conditions of Syrians. In light of the current situation, we must ask ourselves: How long will the Syrian people suffer from these dire humanitarian conditions?
We welcome the passage of the sixth crossline humanitarian aid convoy to northwest Syria earlier this month, however we regret the development mentioned by Ms. Msuya regarding the postponement of the crossline mission to Ras al Ayan despite having all the necessary approvals. As such, we continue to emphasize the need to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to all those in need, in all areas, without obstacles or politicization. We should also ensure that this assistance responds to the specific needs of women and girls, especially their health needs.
The continued delay in addressing the political situation deepens the existing security vacuum that is already exploited by terrorist groups in the country, such as Da’esh. In addition to the threats posed by other terrorist groups, the report of the Secretary-General confirms that Da’esh continues in its attempts to recruit fighters, mobilize weapons, and develop its combat capabilities to extend its influence over Syrian territory. These groups constitute a grave threat, not only to the security and stability of Syria, but to the entire region. Again, we must ask ourselves: how long will terrorist groups continue to exploit the Syrian crisis to spread their own agenda in the region?
Mr. President, ending the Syrian crisis, and its security, economic, and humanitarian repercussions, is not far-fetched. If efforts are focused on breaking the current stalemate in the political track, this goal can be achieved.
Thank you, Mr. President.