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Statement on the situation in Syria

Statement by the Republic of Slovenia at the UN Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East, Syria

Mr President,

I thank Special Envoy Pedersen and ASG Msuya for their briefings and their continuous commitment to peace in Syria and its people.

Discussions on Syria that are taking place in the Security Council are very difficult for us. We cannot believe the conflict has entered its fourteenth year, with no end in sight. The country is experiencing spillover effect from other parts of the region and at the same time generating spillover effects of its own. The country itself remains in turmoil: A whole generation of young Syrians has only known their home country in conflict. How can we, the international community, stand by Syrians in the weeks to come?

Firstly and most importantly,

The Syrian-led, Syrian-owned political process needs to resume. Disagreements over the venue of the next meeting of the Constitutional Committee need to end. Until other agreement is reached, negotiations should resume in Geneva, which remains also the seat of the UN Office there. Special envoy Pedersen enjoys our unwavering support and so does his preposition for Geneva meeting and development of the Constitutional Committee and the work of the Committee in the manner that could give hope to the Syrian people. In the meantime, we would welcome also development of other tracks included in the UNSC resolution 2254.

Second, 70 % of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance. Considering the scale of humanitarian needs, it is important to ensure sustainable, predictable and efficient aid flows across the whole of Syria as long as needed. It is urgent to utilize and scale up all modalities of delivery, including cross-border and cross-line.

Despite welcoming the extension of consent, we call on Syria to extend indefinitely the delivery of humanitarian aid through the Bab al-Salam and Al Ra’ee border crossings at the Syria-Türkiye border.

Strikes on essential facilities such as water and electricity facilities in northeast Syria are exacerbating the dire humanitarian situation and must cease immediately. Civilians and civilian infrastructure must be spared in the course of military operations.

Thirdly, accountability for gross human rights violations and justice for survivors are the basis for lasting peace and stability. In this light, we stress the need to resolve the plight of the detainees, abductees, and missing persons. Slovenia is standing and will continue to stand ready to support the Independent Institution on Missing Persons (IIMP).

Finally, we would like to return back to the basics: For 13 years we have been listening to the pleas of Syrian people. We have heard stories of lives lost, dreams crushed and generations lost. It is time to act. We call for immediate ceasefire and full respect for international humanitarian law. 

I thank you.

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