| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Pedersen to Security Council: ‘Don’t Forget Syria’

Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria, urged the international community on Wednesday to not to forget Syria amid the repercussions of the war that Russia is waging against Ukraine.


Speaking via video teleconference, the envoy told the Security Council that renewing the resolution authorizing cross-border humanitarian aid into Syria was absolutely essential to saving lives and would support efforts towards a political solution to the conflict.


He said it was absolutely essential that the Council renew resolution 2585 in order to bring life-saving, and life-sustaining, humanitarian assistance to Syrians for an additional twelve months, and to support implementing Security Council resolution 2254 in building a political settlement, which is the only sustainable way to end the suffering of Syrians.


“My message is simple: Don’t forget Syria,” Pedersen said, urging the international community to find unity on the country and help its people emerge from conflict.


He said a daunting set of challenges faces the Syrian people and called for urgent action to implement a comprehensive political solution, in line with resolution 2254.


Discussing the escalating hostilities in a number of flashpoints, the envoy voiced concern about violence across all of Syria’s fault lines, and called for a nationwide ceasefire, a cooperative approach to countering listed terrorist groups, and a focus on supporting the political process.


Pedersen also described his continued engagement with the Syrian-led, Syrian-owned Constitutional Committee to implement a political solution and advance resolution 2254.


However, at the conclusion of the Committee’s eighth meeting, he noted that members were unable to identify and conclude concrete areas of initial provisional agreement.


The ninth session of its small drafting body will convene in Geneva on 25 July, he said.


The Security Council session was attended by Omar Alshogre, Director for Detainee Affairs at the Syrian Emergency Task Force.


Bassam Sabbagh, Syria’s representative to the UN, said his government has achieved significant progress in the last few months, demonstrating its keenness to support national reconciliation and local settlements.


He then said his government is committed to removing all impediments for the safe, voluntary and dignified return of refugees to their places of origin.


“States that prevent Syrian refugees from returning to their homeland must stop those practices,” he stressed, emphasizing the need to lift unilateral coercive measures imposed on his country.


For his part, Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, said the main security threats to Syria and the region are posed by ongoing hotbeds of terrorists that find refuge in areas not under Damascus’ control.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat