Switzerland and Brazil are very disappointed that the Council has not adopted the draft resolution on cross-border humanitarian aid into Syria.
As penholders on the Syrian humanitarian file, we have worked hard and with all Council Members and Syria over the past weeks. We have spared no efforts to accommodate legitimate concerns in order to reach consensus. We engaged in good faith and with a clear aim: to ensure that millions of people in need continue to get the humanitarian assistance that their lives depend upon.
We have listened carefully to the humanitarian actors on the ground. They firmly advocate for a year-long authorization as necessary to design and implement projects that go beyond life-saving supplies and that offer dignified solutions. We supported their call for a 12-month extension of the authorization by the Council to cross-border deliveries.
This was supported by the vast majority, yet not all Council members. As penholders, we have committed to an inclusive and transparent process. In an attempt to forge a compromise, we amended our initial proposal to a 9 months extension, in order to allow the Council to show unity and coherence on this issue and to fulfil its responsibility towards the Syrian people.
This compromise would have extended the mandate beyond the coming winter - a major concern of the UN and their humanitarian partners. It would also have allowed humanitarian assistance to continue to reach those in need in North West Syria uninterruptedly, by all modalities, cross-border and cross-line.
Our compromise text also sought to address issues raised by Council members and the country concerned, such as expanded cross-line deliveries and early recovery activities as well as humanitarian funding, humanitarian mine action and the creation of conditions for safe, voluntary, informed and dignified returns.
We welcome the engagement from all sides during the negotiation process. We are also thankful that the vast majority of the Council members – nearly all – supported as much our approach as our text. We deeply regret that this compromise, which fairly reflects the views expressed during the negotiations, was vetoed.
Those paying the price are the Syrian people in the northwest – four out of five of them women and children – who benefit from cross-border aid including through the provision of food, safe water, medicine and shelter supplies. A lifeline, every month, to millions of people in desperate need. A lifeline that is now in danger, as the authorization for the cross border operation has just expired and millions of people are faced with the uncertainty this creates
We have no choice: As penholders we will get back to work immediately to find a solution. We will continue to engage with all Council members in an inclusive and transparent process to find consensus on outstanding issues and to bridge divergent positions.
There is no time to waste. We owe it to the people of Syria.
I thank you.