Syria: Ten years after the start of hostilities, no credible political solution [fr]
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN SYRIA
STATEMENT BY MR. NICOLAS DE RIVIERE,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL
(Translation from French)
New York, 15 September 2021
I thank Mr. Griffiths and Ms. Qaddour for their presentations.
More than ten years after the beginning of this tragedy, the violence continues, as shown by the recent increase in hostilities in the North-West and in Deraa. Civilians continue to pay a high price.
The priority is an immediate cessation of hostilities under UN supervision, as well as a humanitarian pause, in accordance with resolutions 2532 and 2254 and the Secretary-General’s appeal.
International humanitarian law must be strictly respected, as well as the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructures. Since last March, 19 humanitarian workers have been killed in the North-West: these attacks will not go unpunished. France will continue to give its full support to mechanisms to fight impunity.
Humanitarian access must also be guaranteed. The priority must remain emergency aid. All parties, in particular the Syrian regime, must respect their obligations. Humanitarian needs continue to grow, in a context marked by food insecurity and the pandemic of COVID-19. It is essential to accelerate vaccination campaigns against COVID-19.
France welcomes the delivery of a first "crossline" convoy to the North-West, which is a concrete translation of Resolution 2585. It is important, however, that "crossline" aid is not limited to food aid and that it is delivered in full respect of humanitarian principles.
But let’s be clear: the cross-border mechanism will be necessary as long as aid does not reach all the populations in need throughout the country, based on an objective assessment of needs. The renewal of this mechanism for twelve months was a relief. But we all know that this is not enough. We encourage the UN agencies to intensify cross-border convoys to pre-position humanitarian aid before winter.
Only a political solution in line with Resolution 2254 will bring an end to the tragedy and stabilize permanently the country. The regime, supported by its allies, is pursuing a logic of obstruction of the political process, in defiance of the aspirations of the Syrian people and the commitments made before this Council.
Without a political solution, the position of France and its partners on normalization, reconstruction and sanctions will remain unchanged. The instrumentalization of the issue of sanctions to mask the overwhelming responsibility of the regime deceives no one.
Without a political solution, there will be no safe, dignified and voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons.
Thank you, Madam President.