Madam President,

I associate myself with the statement made by Brazil on the humanitarian issue. Please allow me to add a few points in my national capacity on the political situation in Syria.

I would like to thank Special Envoy Pedersen, not only for his briefing, but especially for his ongoing efforts in the implementation of his mandate.

Switzerland regrets that the regional and international dynamics that emerged in the aftermath of the earthquakes on 6 February have not yet led to a convergence of efforts to improve the political, security, humanitarian and economic situation in Syria. On the contrary, the current dynamics have unfortunately failed to de-escalate the military situation, improve humanitarian access or relaunch the political process.

We regret that this Council was unable to renew the mandate for cross-border humanitarian aid. We recall that not only allowing, but also facilitating the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid to civilians in need is an obligation under international humanitarian law. The United Nations and its partners must be able to continue to provide assistance to those in need.

Despite the current dynamics, we welcome the convening, on 16 August 2023, of the first meeting of the Contact Group set up on the sidelines of the Arab League meeting on 7 May. We recall that the States parties to the Contact Group have expressed their willingness to support a “step-for-step” approach towards a political solution, in coordination with the efforts of the Special Envoy.

Switzerland once again stresses the relevance of this Council’s Resolution 2254 to achieving a just and comprehensive solution that ensures peace and security in Syria and the region. The relaunch of the work of the Constitutional Committee would give an important signal of support for the search for a concerted approach to peace. Switzerland remains ready to make Geneva, the UN’s main headquarters in Europe, available to host meetings of the Constitutional Committee, as well as any other type of talks and initiatives aimed at promoting a lasting peace in Syria.

Madam President,

It is vital that the ceasefire is respected at national level. Already affected by a humanitarian, social and economic situation that has never been so critical, civilian populations are still too often the victims of this armed conflict. According to the Secretary-General’s latest report on children and armed conflict, Syria is one of the countries in which the greatest number of serious violations against children have been verified. All parties to the conflict have committed violations against children, such as recruitment, killing and maiming, as well as attacks on schools and hospitals. These violations must stop immediately, and we welcome the Secretary-General’s ongoing dialogue with the various parties to the conflict to this end.

Switzerland calls on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law, in particular measures to protect the civilian population. Respect for human rights is also essential, in particular to respect and protect the dignity, life and freedom of every individual. Switzerland would like to reiterate its full support for the Commission of Inquiry of the Human Rights Council and for the impartial and independent International Mechanism, whose work is fundamental in the fight against impunity.

Thank you.

Download the statement

Size / Type