Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Syria - Political
Statement24 March 2022
Thank you Madam President, and I would also like to thank our three briefers today for their informative briefings.
I will confine myself to the political situation as the Ambassador of Norway has already spoken on behalf of Norway and Ireland as co-penholders on the humanitarian file.
This month marked eleven years of conflict in Syria.
Eleven years and more than 350,000 people dead.
Eleven years and at least 100,000 disappeared.
Eleven years and a country devastated.
Syrian children have paid, and continue to pay, the heaviest price. Almost 13,000 children in Syria have been killed and injured since 2011, and a generation of Syrian children have grown up knowing nothing but war.
If we continue on this current trajectory, the multitude of worst-case consequences for Syria will be an inevitable reality. It is critical, now more than ever, that the parties adhere to a permanent nationwide ceasefire, in line with resolution 2254.
Ireland fully supports the efforts of Special Envoy Pedersen on the political track. We welcome the convening of a seventh round of talks of the small body of the Constitutional Committee this week in Geneva. Geir, we wish you well with tomorrow’s concluding session. However, unless there are genuine attempts to narrow differences, especially by the Syrian authorities, progress will not be possible. Thank you also Geir for the update on your ongoing contacts with all parties, towards a lasting political solution in line with Resolution 2254.
I repeat Ireland’s call on all parties, particularly the Syrian authorities, to cease all indiscriminate attacks and direct attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure. Furthermore, I reiterate our calls for the release of those arbitrarily detained, for the fate and whereabouts of all those forcibly disappeared to be revealed, and for independent monitors to be ensured access to all places of detention.
This month we mark International Women’s Day. I would like to pay special tribute to the women of Syria who have shown incredible resilience and leadership, including in their local communities.
Syrian women have an indispensable role to play in shaping the future of their country, and they must be fully and meaningfully included in all aspects of the political process. Their participation is key to securing sustainable, long-term peace. Thank you, Geir, for your ongoing engagement with the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board.
Grave violations of fundamental human rights and humanitarian law, including torture and sexual and gender-based violence, continue to be documented across Syria. The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria and the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism play a role in documenting these crimes, which is essential for the pursuit of justice and accountability.
I would like to underscore Ireland’s unwavering commitment to fighting impunity and ensuring that those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria are held to account. Truth, justice and accountability are the right of the Syrian people. They are essential for any political solution to be sustainable, to build trust and to ensure that violations never occur again.
In closing Madam President,
The international community, and in particular this Council, has a duty to ensure that the victims and survivors of Syria are never forgotten, and to send an important message that justice will prevail and that war crimes, wherever they have been committed in the world, will not go unpunished.
Thank you Madam President.