Allow me now to make a national statement on the political situation in Syria.

With regard to the humanitarian situation, I endorse what our Brazilian colleague said on behalf of our two countries, and I thank Madame Aveline and Madame Mudawi for their briefings.

I would also like to thank Special Envoy Geir Pedersen for his presentation.

Switzerland is following the current regional dynamics in relation to Syria with interest. We welcome the willingness expressed at the Arab League meeting in Cairo on May 7 to work together to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions. We welcome the fact that the States Parties to the League's Ministerial Committee, created on this occasion, wish to support the "step-by-step" approach, with a view to a just and comprehensive solution to the conflict in Syria, in accordance with Resolution 2254 of this Council. This demonstrates once again the relevance of this resolution for the achievement of a political solution to the conflict that ensures peace and security for Syria and the region.

In this perspective, coherence between the various international efforts under the aegis of the UN is essential. Switzerland calls on the countries of the region to intensify the coordination of their efforts with those of the Special Envoy. We remain at your disposal to support these endeavors and facilitate all types of talks and initiatives aimed at promoting lasting peace under the aegis of the UN, notably through the Geneva platform. In this respect, we welcome the determination expressed in the Amman communiqué of May 1 to "work towards the resumption of the work of the Constitutional Committee as soon as possible".

The same communiqué also refers to the need to resolve the issue of detained and missing persons. Resolution 2254 and the Special Envoy explicitly stress the importance of this as a confidence-building measure in the peace process. Switzerland calls on the parties to put an end to the practices of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance, and to allow specialized humanitarian organizations access to all places of detention in Syria. Enabling the many families concerned to obtain answers about the fate of detainees and missing persons is necessary to restore confidence within society and open the door to a lasting political solution.

Last week's open debate clearly attested to the need to protect civilian populations suffering the consequences of armed conflict, including children. Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, civilians have been the first victims of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights. In the face of these violations, Switzerland reiterates its full support for the Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry and for the International, Impartial, Independent Mechanism, whose work is indispensable in fighting impunity and preventing further violations.

The concerted pursuit of a credible political process anchored in Resolution 2254 is capable of restoring hope to Syrian society as a whole, particularly women and the younger generation. After more than twelve years of armed conflict, they deserve to live in peace and security.

Beyond its commitment to protecting Syrian women and men from armed violence and arbitrary restrictions on their fundamental rights, Switzerland will continue to support their aspirations to participate fully, equally and inclusively in the decisions that affect their future.