The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 23 March 2023.
Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council briefing on Syria.
I thank Special Envoy Pedersen and Mr Talahma for their briefing and for the work of their teams
Thank you President, and thanks to the briefers for their updates and statements.
President, 12 years ago, the Syrian people peacefully took to the streets to demand freedom, political reform, and a government that respects and upholds human rights. The Assad regime met those demands with a brutal assault against them.
The earthquake last month added further tragedy to this crisis. We continue to direct our support to the Syrian people, providing $4.6 billion in humanitarian assistance since 2011. In the wake of the earthquake, we announced an additional $52 million across Syria and Turkiye to fund food, medical supplies and shelter. These resources must reach the over 4.1 million people in North-West Syria in the most effective and efficient means possible, including through predictable cross-border access. We welcome the UN’s efforts to deliver this and scale up.
But let us not make the mistake of thinking the conflict is over. Even since the earthquake hostilities have resumed, with numerous examples of Regime force attacks harming civilians. And the billion dollar narco-industry of Captagon stemming from Syria presents a new and destabilizing risk to the region.
So, as the Secretary-General said on the anniversary of the conflict, the support and solidarity provided in the aftermath of the earthquake must be channeled into renewed energy on the political track. We need to address the fundamental issues behind the conflict.
An inclusive and accountable end to the conflict is urgently needed. Security Council resolution 2254 is the framework to deliver the sustainable and lasting peace that the people of Syria deserve. We welcome all efforts to make progress on this track, including the important efforts of Special Envoy Pedersen and Member States in the region this week. I urge all colleagues in this chamber to play their role in delivering peace for the Syrian people.
President, next week, we will hear from the Secretary-General about the plight of the families who are still searching for their loved ones and his call to consider establishing a mechanism for the missing. This is an issue that affects all Syrians, on all sides of this conflict. We hope that the United Nations can come together to give them some answers.