Picture of Mona Juul and Geraldine Byrne Nason giving a press stakeout outside the UNSC - Photo:UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Mona Juul (left), Permanent Representative of Norway and Geraldine Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Syria - humanitarian access

Press Statement by Norway and Ireland, following the vote on draft resolutions on humanitarian crossborder access to Syria, 8 July 2022.

Delivered by the Ambassador of Norway, Mona Juul:

Ireland and Norway, as penholders on the Syria Humanitarian file, are extremely disappointed that the Council could not adopt a Resolution on cross-border humanitarian aid into Syria.

We put forward a resolution to make it possible to continue providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance to people in North-West Syria, by all modalities, cross-border and cross line. We started with a 12 months in our first draft in blue. In a compromise text, which was today vetoed, we had 6+6 months.

That would have provided millions of Syrian people in need with the certainty they need, and the humanitarian actors with a predictable mandate.

We will continue to engage all Council members to ensure that we reach a solution in the immediate term.

There is simply no time to waste. The Syrian people are counting on us.


Delivered by the Ambassador of Ireland, Geraldine Byrne Nason:

I think we all know what what we're looking at here.

The humanitarian situation has only worsened over the last year. People lack food, and food prices are rising. The challenges are absolutely immense.

Responding to them effectively depends on the cross-border operation. Cross-line humanitarian assistance is important, we recognize that, but it doesn’t even come close to being able to replace cross-border aid.

In this negotiation, what was absolutely paramount for us as penholder was the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people. Even in the face of this veto this morning, their needs remain our focus.

It is the Council’s responsibility to ensure continued access for humanitarian support. We appreciate that the vast majority of the members of the Council supported renewing the resolution on the basis on the text we put forward. Now it is time to get back to work. We believe that we can find a way forward. The people in Syria do not have time to wait for us.