Ambassador of Norway, Mona Juul:
Ireland and Norway welcome the adoption by the Council this morning of a resolution renewing its authorization for the cross-border humanitarian aid operation into Syria.
The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to worsen. People lack food, and food prices are rising. Shelter, medical support, protection – these all remain major challenges. The cross border operation is indispensable and irreplaceable. And we need more early recovery to meet humanitarian needs.
We listened carefully to the calls from the UN and humanitarian actors for a renewal for 12 months. As penholders, we worked for this outcome. Most of the Council supported a renewal for 12 months. However, as you know, this was not possible to agree on.
Today’s renewal is for 6 months. It anticipates the further extension for an additional six months.
The Secretary General will also prepare a special report on humanitarian needs in Syria in December which will inform the decision on renewal for the additional six months.
The negotiations have been challenging and today’s resolution is a significant result. As penholders, our objective has always been clear: humanitarian aid must reach all people in need in Syria. The cross border operation simply had to be renewed.
Ambassador of Ireland, Geraldine Byrne Nason:
We would like to sincerely thank Council members for their engagement on this difficult negotiation.
What this resolution achieves is that the cross-border operation remains open. It will allow lifesaving humanitarian assistance to continue to reach those in need in North West Syria.
The fear that a vital supply line would be cut was a cause of grave anxiety for those in humanitarian need in North West Syria. We can now reassure them. And that’s what really matters. The Cross Border operation remains their lifeline. And today, the cross border operation stays in place. Aid will continue to flow.
Too often this Council has been beset by division and inaction on Syria. We want to be clear: this does not have to be the case. This Council has a responsibility to put the needs of Syrians first, and to ensure humanitarian relief can reach those who rely on it.
For more than a decade, the conflict in Syria has caused untold human suffering. Syrians deserve a peaceful and prosperous future. In order for that to happen, this war must end. It is a challenge on which this Council, and Ireland and Norway remain focused. Thank you.