Ireland and Norway are extremely disappointed that the Council has not adopted the draft resolution we’ve just voted on, on cross-border humanitarian aid into Syria. Having engaged carefully with all Council Members, we put forward this resolution in good faith and as our best effort toward a compromise which could command the support of this Council.
The text would have made it possible for lifesaving humanitarian assistance to reach those in need in North West Syria, by all modalities, cross border and cross line. It would have facilitated continued and enhanced early recovery efforts. It would have renewed the cross-border mechanism for 12 months, unless the Council decided otherwise after 6 months.
The Cross Border operation is a lifeline for millions of Syrians who are dependent on humanitarian aid. The humanitarian situation is not getting any better – on the contrary it is has only worsened over the last year. People lack food, and food prices are rising. On this, we think, every member of the Council can agree.
We appreciate the engagement from all sides during the negotiations. We appreciate also the support which our text received from the large majority of Council Members. However, we deeply regret that this compromise was rejected through the use of a veto.
Ireland and Norway’s views on the veto are well known. We regret its existence and we deeply regret its use today. But we are not daunted by this veto. This is not the end of the road. What matters to us as penholders is getting the humanitarian aid to those who need it.
The Council has a responsibility here and we will continue to engage all Council members to seek to ensure that the Council lives up to that responsibility. We need to reach a solution in the immediate term, a solution which renews the mandate for cross-border aid. There is simply no time to waste. The Syrian people are counting on us.