28 November 2023
Thank you, President.
We heard with great attention the briefings of Deputy Special Envoy Najat Rochdi and Director Wosornu. We thank them for the latest update and the work they do.
The Syrian conflict, which has stretched into its second decade, is a tragedy of unprecedented proportions. We cannot and should not allow the political stalemate to drag on for another decade.
We are deeply concerned over the high number of violations, in particular the abuses committed against women and children, as well as attacks on schools and hospitals and critical infrastructure in this respect, and we call for the respect of the international humanitarian law.
The increasing movement of humanitarian trucks from the three border-crossings although positive, is merely a water drop in the face of the existential needs of Syrians. It is our responsibility to make sure that this humanitarian response remains predicable and substantial.
The extension of the Bab al-Salam and al-Ra’ee crossings is welcomed, while the sustainable use of Bab al-Hawa which expires in January should remain in our focus and we call for its extension. Equally important is for the Humanitarian Response Plan to be further supported.
However, I would like to reiterate Albania’s understanding that although the humanitarian aid is the hand that reaches out to those in need, this Council should also be the voice which speaks for those who cannot, whose calls for socioeconomic reforms and political changes are ignored.
We should not tolerate the blocking by the Syrian regime of the holding of the next meeting of the Constitutional Committee and call for a meaningful engagement to achieve real progress on the Syrian-led constitutional dialogue based on the UNSC resolution 2254. This becomes even more urgent at the present time considering the situation in the region and the risk for escalation. In this context, we join the call of the Special Envoy for the de-escalation and restrain, and for the respect of the national ceasefire.
It is important to continue supporting the efforts and proposals of the Special Envoy aiming to increase confidence through step-for-step measures, as the only way to end the cycle of violence.
The people of Syria deserve a government that respects their rights and represents their aspirations. A government that can guarantee the safe and dignified return of the refugees and that justice is served for the detained and missing persons.
Efforts for releasing the detainees should be coordinated with the UN to be meaningful and transparent in terms of providing full lists of all those detained and clarify the fate and whereabouts of the missing people. We also welcome the Order for provisional measures issued by the ICJ, requiring Syria to prevent acts of torture and other cruel punishment and preserve any evidence related to the allegations of the case. Accountability is the main ingredient for change and healing. No one should escape from it.
In concluding, we repeat our call for respecting resolution 2254 and for this Council to be united on this issue, for the benefit of the people in Syria