Thank you, Mr President.


I would like to thank Deputy Special Envoy Ms. Najat Rochdi and M. Ramesh Rajasingham from OCHA for their presentations.


Switzerland remains very concerned about the fragmentation of Syria into several conflict zones. Living conditions and the protection of civilians are steadily deteriorating, and there is a palpable risk that Syria will become a failed state. We are calling for a ceasefire respected by all parties and covering the whole of Syria. It is essential that the situation in Syria does not deteriorate further in the wake of the Middle East conflict.


Only a lasting and comprehensive political settlement of the conflict through a Syrian-led process under the auspices of the UN can counter these trends. This is why we fully support the Special Envoy's efforts to find a political solution, in line with resolution 2254. We call for the restoration of trust and dialogue among Syrians, but also between all the other parties concerned. Geneva remains ready to host any initiatives or peace talks under the aegis of the UN, including further meetings of the Constitutional Committee


In the absence of a real commitment to a negotiated political solution, serious violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law, are likely to continue in Syria. 


In this respect, it should be noted that with more than 1,500 verified cases in 2023, grave violations against children continue at an alarming rate, as noted by the Secretary-General in his latest report on the situation of children in armed conflict. The development and implementation of action plans by the parties to the conflict are essential for the sustainable protection of children throughout the country.


Switzerland welcomes the recent signing of a new action plan. We encourage all actors involved, including those on the Secretary-General's list, to work constructively with the United Nations and to implement without delay their obligations under international law to protect civilians, including children.


 To this end, Switzerland supports the efforts of the various UN institutions and civil society with all the Syrian players concerned. There will be no lasting peace in Syria without justice and without the actors being held accountable for all the serious violations of international law committed since 2011.


Mr President,


I now come to the humanitarian aspect. 

After 13 years of crisis, 16.7 million people are in need, and the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate.

The Syrian population includes the largest number of displaced people in the world. Of the 7.2 million internally displaced people in Syria, more than 2 million - mainly women and children - are living in camps and temporary emergency shelters. This situation is unsustainable and it is clear that longerterm resilience programmes and early recovery projects are needed to alleviate the suffering of displaced Syrians.


Mr President,


The Bab al-Hawa cross-border crossing remains a vital lifeline for more than 4 million children, women and men in Syria. For aid to reach those in need as directly and effectively as possible, humanitarian actors must be able to use all modalities, including cross-border and cross-line. It is important that this access remains available for as long as necessary.

We urge all parties to allow and facilitate such humanitarian access throughout Syria and to allow rapid, safe, sustained and unhindered access to all civilians in need in accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law. We welcome the continued efforts of the UN to enable assistance across the frontlines. These operations remain essential, although they cannot currently replace UN crossborder humanitarian operations.

We must continue to show our collective solidarity with the Syrian people.


Thank you.



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