Brazil and Switzerland as co-penholders of the Syria humanitarian file remain very concerned by the ever-deteriorating humanitarian situation as a result of the earthquakes one week ago, affecting Türkiye and Syria. For years, the humanitarian needs in Syria have continued to increase. The earthquakes have worsened an already dire situation.

This afternoon, the Council held a private meeting, with the participation of Türkiye and Syria, followed by closed consultations. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, who spent the last days on the ground, in the affected regions, has briefed the Council virtually. We have been updated on the harrowing situation on the ground, the immense humanitarian needs and have carefully listened to the views of Council Members.

Switzerland and Brazil, as co-penholders, again urge all parties to facilitate passage of relief efforts and assistance to reach all those in need, through all channels. Rapid, unimpeded and sustainable humanitarian access must be granted throughout Syria.

USG Martin Griffiths, whom we had asked to brief the Council as early as possible, has shared his assessment from his trip to the affected areas, where he has witnessed the shocking scale of destruction. It is clear that at this point, not enough aid is reaching the men, women and children in need.

The UN has been urging for the opening of additional border crossings in order to improve humanitarian access. It is therefore encouraging to hear that the Syrian government has decided to open two further border crossings for an initial period of three months, and we ask for a quick implementation.  

Brazil and Switzerland have been in touch with all the stakeholders over the last week: the Council members; affected countries, both here and in the region; and the UN. As co-penholders, we have always said that we stand ready to facilitate an agreement by this Council on any action deemed necessary and we will continue to do so.

We will be guided only - and exclusively - by the humanitarian imperative. We count on the support of the Council members to rally behind this humanitarian imperative in this urgent situation.

Thank you.