Mr. President,

I am making this statement in my national capacity on the political situation in Syria.

With regard to the humanitarian aspects, I join in with the statement made by my Brazilian colleague on behalf of our two countries.

I also would like to thank the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Geir Pedersen, and the Deputy Director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Ms. Ghada Eltahir Mudawi, for their bleak but precious briefings.

The Syrian civilian population continues to be subjected to severe hardship. Switzerland is concerned about the continuing violations of international humanitarian law and human rights throughout the country. It calls on all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under international law.

The way out of the conflict in Syria is clear: it can and must be achieved only through a political solution.

This is why Switzerland supports the efforts of the UN and its Special Envoy, Geir Pedersen, according to the mandate given to him by Resolution 2254, unanimously adopted by this Council.

We commend him for his recent consultations with key regional and international actors at the highest level. These efforts are crucial to building confidence between the parties and maintaining the momentum for a political solution – at a time when the already fragile humanitarian, security and economic situation in Syria is dangerously worsening.

In order to fulfil its commitment to the implementation of the resolutions of this Council, Switzerland offers the best possible guarantees for the continuation of the peace process in Geneva, the UN’s main headquarters in Europe. We have great hopes that the work of the Constitutional Committee will soon resume under the aegis of the Special Envoy's office.

The Security Council, through Resolution 2254, calls for the voice and expectations of the Syrian people to be taken into account. Switzerland supports Syrian civil society organisations, in particular through the Civil Society Support Room in Geneva. Civil society organisations are involved in identifying an appropriate and sustainable political solution. Across all regions, they are building social cohesion and preserving the territorial integrity of the country.

Finally, Switzerland would like the Security Council to remain seized of the issue of detained or missing persons. Security Council resolutions 2254 and 2474 underline the importance of this issue in any peace process.

Switzerland joins the appeals of the Special Envoy and the families and welcomes the Secretary-General's report to shed light on the fate of these persons. We call on all parties to put an end to the practices of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances in Syria. Allowing specialised humanitarian organisations access to all places of detention would be an essential step in this direction.

Experience shows that trust cannot be restored in a society until the families of the missing get answers about the fate of their loved ones.

Women and tens of thousands of orphans across the country are waiting to hear from a husband, mother or brother, to take their fate into their own hands again. They have a right to know.

Thank you.