The statement was delivered ahead of the open briefing on Syria - Humanitarian.
This afternoon the Security Council meets to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Syria. We are looking forward to hearing from Secretary General Guterres, from Emergency Relief Coordinator Griffiths, and from the Coordinator of the NGO forum in North West Syria.
As you know, Ireland and Norway are co-penholders on the Syria Humanitarian file.
The humanitarian needs in Syria are at their highest level since the start of the conflict. The needs are overwhelming and yet they continue to increase. 14.6 million people now need humanitarian assistance.
Food prices are soaring, resulting in food insecurity for millions of people. Syrians need as much aid as possible, as quickly as possible.
With the unanimous adoption of resolution 2585 last year, the Council renewed the delivery of cross-border humanitarian aid to North-West Syria. The UN is sending 800 trucks per month over the border.
There has been important progress in implementing other elements of the resolution too. We welcome the 5 cross-line convoys with vital humanitarian supplies.
There has also been significant progress on early recovery projects. A renewal of the resolution will facilitate further early recovery efforts.
Last week Irish and Norwegian Foreign Ministers Coveney and Huitfeldt visited Turkey, and the Turkish-Syrian border at Bab Al Hawa.
Our Ministers saw first-hand that the UN cross-border mechanism remains the critical life-line for the millions who are in need in North West Syria.
Ireland and Norway are leading the Council’s work on the renewal of the Syria Cross Border Resolution. Together Ireland and Norway are focused on inclusive and constructive conversations with all Council Members and partners.
Our major and guiding focus is on the needs of the Syrian people.
Ireland and Norway strongly support the use of all modalities to deliver this aid to the millions of Syrian people who are in need – that means both cross border and cross line.
The Cross border mechanism is a lifeline for millions of people. It cannot be replaced. The Council must ensure that it continues.
We have one goal– a resolution of the Security Council to renew the cross-border operation so that aid can continue to reach those in dire need in North-West Syria. And we look forward to pursuing that goal with our council partners in the coming weeks.