Our collective priority must be to respond to the humanitarian needs in Syria [fr]
BRIEFING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN SYRIA
STATEMENT IN NATIONAL CAPACITY
BY MR. NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL
New York, June 29th 2020
First of all many thanks to Mr Lowcock and Mrs Sirkin for their presentations.
As you reminded us, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis resulting from corruption and a disastrous management, humanitarian needs have been steadily increasing in a country where more than 11 million persons depend on humanitarian aid.
Only a nationwide, immediate and sustainable ceasefire, under the auspices of the United Nations, will allow the protection of the civilian population. This is essential as the truce between Russia and Turkey in the North-West remains fragile.
We will never say it often enough: respect for international humanitarian law is an obligation for all parties. I am thinking in particular about the protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical personnel and their infrastructures. In this regard, we deeply regret Russia’s decision to withdraw from the deconfliction mechanism.
All parties, in particular the Syrian regime, must ensure a humanitarian access. The crossborder humanitarian mechanism has never been so indispensable, both in the North-West and in the North-East. Crossline aid is largely insufficient to respond to the needs. In any case, it does not offer all necessary guarantees regarding transparency and impartiality. A renewal for twelve months of the crossborder mechanism, as requested by the Secretary General, is essential. France fully supports the draft resolution elaborated by Germany and Belgium, including notably the reopening for a first period of six months of al Yaroubiyah crossing point, which fully responds to these humanitarian imperatives. I call on Council members to show unity and responsibility. Instrumentalization of humanitarian aid must stop. The Syrian population must not become hostage to this. The EU and its Member States are the main contributors of humanitarian aid, regardless of the beneficiaries, with more than 18 billion euros allocated to the Syrian people since 2011. The Brussels IV conference will confirm it again.
In addition, France will continue to strongly support all efforts aiming at preventing and punishing violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law.
Lastly, only a political solution in accordance with the 2254 Security Council resolution will allow to bring an end to the humanitarian tragedy and to bring long-term stability to the country. Today, our collective priority must be to address the emergencies and to respond to the huge humanitarian needs in Syria, before considering any development activity. We contribute to that everywhere in Syria. Until a credible political process is not firmly under way, France and the EU will not finance reconstruction in Syria. You know our positions on the lifting of sanctions and on normalization, which remain unchanged.