Joint Statement before the vote on Syria Humanitarian Resolution by Ireland and Norway
Statement12 July 2022
Thank you very much Mr. President.
I deliver this statement on behalf of Norway and Ireland.
Today we are meeting to vote on a draft resolution put forward by Ireland and Norway, which would authorise the cross-border humanitarian aid operation into Syria.
It is no secret that this has been a difficult negotiation. As penholders, Ireland and Norway have engaged diligently, and constructively, with all Council members. After the draft resolution we put on the table last week was vetoed, we redoubled our efforts to find a path through so that the Council could adopt a resolution, which would allow humanitarians to continue to reach those in dire need in Syria.
The result of our efforts is now before you in the form of a new draft resolution.
Throughout this process, like so many around this table, Ireland and Norway have been guided solely by the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people.
The authorisation for the cross border operation expired at midnight on Sunday night. For the Syrian people, and for all those humanitarians who work diligently to assist them, this has been a long and uncertain couple of days. The fear that vital supplies of aid would be cut generated significant uncertainty and fear.
The resolution before us would now renew the border crossing at Bab al Hawa for six months. It anticipates the further extension for an additional six months, which will require a separate resolution. Importantly, a special report from the Secretary-General on the humanitarian needs in Syria will inform that decision.
We recognise that a six month renewal is shorter than we as penholders aimed for when we started this negotiation. We recognize also that the vast majority of the Council shared that view, and the view of humanitarian actors on the ground, that a 12 month mandate was needed.
What is most important today, is that the Council, with this resolution keeps the cross border mechanism open and operating, that humanitarian assistance continues to reach those in need. This draft resolution will facilitate further early recovery efforts and encourage regular follow-up meetings on implementation.
This resolution represents a delicate balance between the different positions of Council members at this time. We are grateful to all Council Members for their engagement to this end. Now it is time for this Council to assume its responsibility.
We commend this draft resolution to the Council and we ask all Members to support it.
Thank you, Mr. President.