Syria: France regrets rejection of the renewal of cross-border humanitarian aid [fr]
Explanation of vote by Ms Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 19 December 2019
France deeply regrets the fact that the draft resolution set out by the humanitarian co-penholders and supported by 13 of the 15 members of the Security Council was not adopted because Russia, followed by China, decided to exercise its veto and to jeopardize the delivery of international humanitarian aid to Syria and the survival of millions of people. It is irresponsible and sinister.
Cross-border humanitarian assistance is of vital importance for the four million Syrian people who depend on it. Must we recall that today there is no alternative to cross-border humanitarian assistance to deliver vital assistance every day to the hundreds of thousands of people in need in the regions concerned, particularly Idlib, because the Syrian regime continues to weaponize humanitarian assistance for political purposes and to prevent all those who suffer and are in need from having equal assistance France calls on all members of the Security Council to demonstrate unity and responsibility to pursue dialogue to renew this vital mechanism, as requested by the Secretary-General, humanitarian agencies and the countries of the region.
A renewal for only six months would make no sense in terms of planning humanitarian operations, which need predictability and stability in order to be prepared and conducted in an effective and long-lasting manner.With respect to the border crossings, I recall the crucial importance of Al-Yarubiyah, providing a route for 40 per cent of the medicine required for humanitarian operations in the north-east.
The Iraqi authorities are also in favour of keeping it open. We are aware there are political and military issues at the present stage of the conflict in Syria, but politicizing and exploiting humanitarian aid must end. We must not hold the Syrian people hostage and let us get back to work.