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SC: Syria - Political Situation

Statement by Ambassador Mona Juul on the Political Situation in Syria, 20 January 2021.

The only way to bring an end to the humanitarian need, displacement, and destruction is through a nationwide ceasefire and a political solution.

Military victories may be won on the battlefield, but only a lasting and inclusive political solution can end the suffering of the people of Syria, and prevent renewed conflict and instability.

Norway will do its utmost to support a political settlement in Syria. We give our full support to Special Envoy Pedersen, and his office, in their efforts to facilitate implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254. This includes the critical work of the Constitutional Committee, as well as broader endeavours to end the conflict and bring sustainable peace to Syria.

President,

On the Constitutional Committee: We welcome the resumption of committee meetings during the latter part of 2020, and the upcoming round of talks scheduled for next week in Geneva.

For the first time the committee’s ‘Small Body’ will discuss constitutional principles.

We look forward to good faith engagement from all sides on issues of substance, with a view to finding common ground and paving the way for the drafting process to start.

It is the Syrian parties that need to move the constitutional process forward.

This is a Syrian owned process, one with strong support from the international community and the UN Security Council. This is an opportunity not to be missed.

President,

More than five years have passed since resolution 2254 was adopted by this Council.

We urge the parties and all involved actors to contribute to concrete progress. 

We support the Special Envoy’s call for taking stock of where the political process stands in order to find the best possible way to move it forward. 

In addition to the important work of the constitutional committee, we also need wider efforts to address the full range of issues, with regional and international partners and involved actors constructively engaged.

President,

We also remain concerned by the countless persons who remain missing or in detention in Syria. We call on all parties to release arbitrarily detained persons - particularly women and children - and facilitate their return to their families. No confidence building measure is more important.

We urge all parties to take all necessary steps to better protect children and ensure children's rights, including keeping schools and health facilities safe.

We know from experience that inclusivity is vital for a peace processes to succeed, and for political settlements to be not only just, but more sustainable. In this respect, we commend the Special Envoy for his close dialogue with the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board. And for being a strong advocate for the active participation of women, including those from diverse backgrounds, and the broader civil society, in the constitutional process. The direct and meaningful participation of women and civil society in the political process is key to building a sustainable peace. One with the respect for human rights, and the rule of law, at its core.

Lastly President, let me turn to ISIL.

Recent attacks in central and eastern parts of Syria, claiming dozens of casualties, remind us that ISIL remains a serious threat, both to Syria and to international security and stability.

We must remain vigilant of their existence, and their potential to grow and inspire terrorist attacks far beyond Syria and Iraq. Norway is committed to continue our support to the fight against ISIL, and to stabilization efforts in both countries.