Statement on the situation in Syria

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the briefing on the situation in the Middle East

Thank you very much Madam President,

I would also like to thank Special Envoy Geir Pedersen and USG Martin Griffiths for their briefings and I want to thank them for their continuous commitment to peace and to people of Syria.

While most of the current international attention is rightfully focused on Gaza, we must not forget the plight of the Syrian people. They have endured 13 years of war, perpetual displacement, terrorism, and a deteriorating security, economic, human rights and humanitarian situation, without a sign of relief and today’s briefings testify to their continuous agony.

We remain concerned over the escalation of violence across the region, which only adds to the complexity of the crisis in Syria. As reported by the UN Special Envoy Pedersen, it underscores once again the immediate urgency for a political solution in Syria.

We support continuous efforts of the UN Special Envoy Pedersen to further the political process towards a path of sustainable peace. We believe him that he left no stone unturned and therefore we support his invitation to the parties. Waiting idol is no option as crisis is increasingly unmanageable.

We strongly urge all to fully and substantively engage and collaborate with the Special Envoy with a view to relaunching a political process and we welcome the engagement of women in that process. We call on all parties to respect international law, in particular international humanitarian law and human rights law, and to focus on de-escalation across Syria and beyond. This is essential in moving towards a much-needed nationwide ceasefire.

Accountability to gross human rights violations and justice for survivors are vital components of a comprehensive and inclusive political solution. Slovenia continues to support efforts to gather and preserve evidence with a view to future legal action, including by the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria and the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

Without the prospect of a political solution, the already dire humanitarian condition is worsening. We recognize the current crisis continues to generate humanitarian needs unparalleled in scale, severity, and complexity. And trend of increasing number of population depending on the international humanitarian assistance is not sustainable. And of course, humanitarian assistance is not and should not be limited to the so called Western donors alone. I think we are open to all countries to contribute to alleviating humanitarian situation in Syria.

On top, the disruption of access to education is already having a dramatic impact on children, leaving generations of children without education.

The Syrian government’s decision to extend the use of the three border crossings to deliver humanitarian assistance are welcome steps. However, considering the scale of humanitarian needs, it is important to ensure sustainable 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.

Madam President,

Given the continued conduct of hostilities, insecurity and instability, conditions for the dignified, safe and voluntary return of internally displaced people and refugees are not yet in place. We are appalled by the findings of the recent UN OHCHR report that many of returnees to Syria are subjected to gross human rights violations and abuses and this is unacceptable and it must stop.

We welcome the recent report of the Secretary-General on progress towards the full functioning of the Independent Institution on Missing Persons (IIMP) and we stand ready to support the IIMP as it moves to begin substantive work in the future.

Thank you. 

Recent Statements

Slovenia building trust Logo