I make this statement in my national capacity on the political situation in Syria. With regard to the humanitarian aspects, I join our Brazilian colleague in what he said on behalf of our two countries. I would of course like to thank Special Envoy Pedersen and Mr Talahma.
In March 2011, the Syrian people marched through the streets of Deraa and Damascus in search of reform. All over Syria, the walls still bear the traces of those first months, in the form of graffiti that sometimes reflect the sadness, the anger, but also the unshakeable determination of Syrians to build a new future.
Twelve years after the first demonstrations, Syria is marked by this conflict. The repression of the civic aspirations of a whole generation of Syrians, the destruction of infrastructure and cultural and social links, the forced displacement of millions of people inside and outside the country, have changed it forever. After 12 years of conflict, the detention and enforced disappearance of tens of thousands of Syrians continues to weigh heavily on Syrian society. The issue of detainees and missing persons remains a central peace and security concern.
In the face of the gaping void left by the disappearances, ashes and rubble caused by the conflict and, more recently, by the earthquakes, a political solution to the Syrian conflict remains paramount. Syrian women have an important role to play in this regard. In order to improve the social, material, human and political conditions in their country, we support the full, equal and meaningful participation of Syrian women in decisions that affect their future, their needs and their aspirations for the future – whether they are citizens, refugees, political or civil society representatives. This is in line with the Women, Peace and Security agenda and Resolution 2254. In this regard, we welcome the inclusive nature of the Syrian Women's Advisory Board and its efforts to promote dialogue.
As Special Envoy Geir Pedersen said, "the situation in Syria is untenable and to continue in the same way defies humanity and logic". Switzerland supports the Special Envoy's efforts to rebuild trust between the different parties in the current dynamics, so that this moment is a turning point. We advocate an active role for the UN in the search for a political solution to the conflict, and will continue to make Geneva available to host all types of talks and initiatives to promote a lasting peace in Syria.
Switzerland is concerned about the continued violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law committed by all parties throughout the country since 2011. It calls on all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations in this regard in order to put an end to the disastrous situation in which civilians and people deprived of their liberty in connection with the conflict are living. We remain particularly concerned by the continuing grave violations against children.
Justice and the fight against impunity are prerequisites for lasting peace. In this sense, Switzerland supports, for example, the work of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria. We would also like to stress the role that the Council can play in the fight against impunity.
Such violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, must be prevented from happening again in the future - in Syria or elsewhere.