I make this statement in my national capacity on the political situation in Syria. And I thank you, Special Envoy Pedersen for your briefing. Norway continues to give our full support to you, and your team.
We are pleased to hear that you have continued your consultations with the relevant actors regarding the step-for-step approach. Norway shares your view that there are areas of shared interest where it is possible to find common ground. And there is certainly an urgent need to implement confidence building measures to move the political process forward. Progress relating to missing and arbitrarily detained persons in Syria could be one such issue.
Some progress has been made following the Syrian authorities’ announced amnesty. Still, strengthened efforts by the Syrian authorities in implementing the amnesty is needed.
And on the constitutional committee, Norway will continue to urge the parties to get back to the negotiating table, and to contribute constructively to the process.
We are concerned about the recent violence in northern Syria, including in Idlib. According to OHCHR, and as also OCHA referred to, at least 92 civilians have been killed in the period of August to September.
So let me again highlight the need for a national ceasefire; and remind the parties of their obligations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.
The lack of a progress towards a political solution is also having negative impact on the socioeconomic situation. We are worried about a lack of economic opportunities, continued brain drain, increased recruitment and use of children by armed forces and groups, and the smuggling of drugs. These negative trends must be reversed.
President, in closing,
We welcome the Women’s Advisory Board’s meeting earlier this month, and their close dialogue with the UN Special Envoy. The group plays a vital role in providing key perspectives and input into the political process and the work of the UN. And we are pleased to support their important work.