As my Irish colleague presented our joint statement as co-pens on the humanitarian situation, I will now make a statement on the political situation in Syria. As this is Norway’s last meeting on Syria during our current term on the Security Council, let me offer a few reflections.
It is heartbreaking to have seen a continuation of hostilities, civilian casualties, and even escalation in Syria in these past two years. There truly are no military solutions to this conflict. A nationwide ceasefire must be prioritised.
We have, and will continue to, call on all parties to exercise maximum restraint, and abide by their obligations to protect civilians, and civilian infrastructure.
Norway would like to commend the vital work of Special Envoy Pedersen and his efforts to implement Resolution 2254. Including to bring the parties to the negotiation table.
The Special Envoy’s recent mission to Damascus to consult with the parties, and other key actors, is positive. We fully support his step-for-step approach, to seek a new dynamic towards a solution in Syria and we encourage a renewed sense of urgency for the Constitutional Committee. We continue to urge all parties to work in good faith with the Special Envoy.
Let me also stress our support to the Special Envoy’s inclusive approach to the political process, and underline the importance of his regular consultations with the Syrian Civil Society Support Room and Women’s Advisory Board. Women’s participation is central to building lasting peace and stability.
It is crucial also to draw on the broad diversity of Syrian civil society organisations and to truly engage them in the efforts to move the political process forward.
It is regrettable that in the last two years we have not seen much progress on resolving the important issue of those missing and arbitrarily detained. Many Syrians and their families are affected. They do not know what happened to their loved ones.
While the announced general amnesty for non-lethal terrorist crimes was positive, it is important that the amnesty is implemented. Both broadly, and with priority, to build confidence and share information with the public.
President in closing,
Let me again thank the Special Envoy, and underline that Norway will continue to stay engaged, and support the UN efforts to find a political solution the Syrian people desperately want and deserve.
Progress towards a political solution will not only benefit the people of Syria, who have suffered for too long, but also neighbouring countries, and the broader international community.