Ireland and Norway, as co-penholders on the Syria Humanitarian file, abstained on this draft resolution presented by Russia.
We believe it is essential to renew the mandate for cross-border aid. The Irish Norwegian draft resolution, which we considered a fair and careful compromise between the views expressed during this negotiation, was unfortunately vetoed.
Our draft resolution included a 6-plus-6 extension of the mandate. This is a practical issue, not a political one. For the humanitarian organizations operating on the ground, a predictable mandate is necessary to be able to plan and implement the humanitarian response. It is critical for cross-border and cross-line operations, and for implementation of early recovery projects.
The draft resolution put forward by Russia amounts to a six-month extension. This is simply not enough in our view. That is why Ireland and Norway chose to abstain. The Council has a responsibility here to secure continued humanitarian aid to Northwest Syria.
Ireland and Norway will now continue to engage all Council Members to seek to ensure that the Council lives up to that responsibility. That means we need to reach a solution in the immediate term. There is simply no time to waste. The Syrian people are counting on us. It is essential that those who depend on humanitarian aid can continue to receive the support they need.