Syria : the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate [fr]
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN SYRIA
STATEMENT BY MR. NICOLAS DE RIVIERE, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL
== Translation from French ==
New York, 29 July 2020
First of all, I would like to thank Mark Lowcock and Amany Qaddour for their presentations.
As you have pointed out, the humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. The COVID-19 pandemic, rising food insecurity and the economic crisis resulting from corruption and disastrous management by the regime are increasing humanitarian needs every day.
The top priority must be the establishment of an immediate cessation of hostilities and a humanitarian pause, in accordance with resolution 2532 and the Secretary-General’s call. This is all the more essential as the pandemic is spreading, including in the North-West, where the Russian-Turkish truce remains fragile. In this regard, we condemn the deadly attacks of 20 and 26 July near Azaz and in Ras al Ain.
Respect for international humanitarian law is non-negotiable: it is an obligation for all parties. I am thinking in particular of the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructures. France will continue to give its full support to mechanisms to combat impunity.
All parties, in particular the Syrian regime, must ensure humanitarian access. France regrets the closure of the Bab al-Salam crossing point, which provided vital access for 1.3 million people in the Aleppo region. We also regret the lack of consensus within this Council to reopen the al Yaroubiyah crossing point, at a time when the spread of the pandemic makes the delivery of medical aid to the North East even more essential. The politicization of humanitarian aid in Syria is unacceptable. Crossline aid is largely insufficient to meet the needs. It offers none of the necessary guarantees of impartiality and transparency.
The European Union and its Member States, whose financial mobilization represents 70% of the commitments made at the Brussels IV Conference, will continue to insist on the application of the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence and of the "principles and parameters" document defined by the United Nations, in order to provide the necessary guarantees for the implementation of the assistance provided to the populations in need in Syria.
Finally, I would like to recall that until a credible political process in accordance with resolution 2254 is firmly under way, France and the European Union will not finance reconstruction. Our positions on the lifting of sanctions and normalization also remain unchanged. Let us not be misled by the fable of the regime: the economic crisis in Syria is the result of the regime’s destruction of its own country. European sanctions are targeted: they target individuals and entities that participate in the repression and profit from the fallout of the conflict. They provide strong mechanisms to safeguard the delivery of humanitarian and medical aid. This instrumentalization of the sanctions issue is completely unacceptable.