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Statement by Ambassador Byrne Nason at the UNSC Briefing on the Situation in Syria - Political

Thank you Mr. President,

Geir, thank you for your briefing today, and for your report on the limited developments with regard to the Constitutional Committee. 


We believe it is unacceptable that the Syrian authorities continue to find reasons to avoid meaningful engagement in the work of the Constitutional Committee.


Ireland urges the Syrian authorities to end their intransigence, which continues to frustrate the prospects of real progress at the Constitutional Committee. The results of the Committee’s work to date fall short of the legitimate expectations of the Syrian people.


No tangible progress on the political solution and national reconciliation foreseen in Resolution 2254 is possible without a new Constitution. A new Constitution that sets out a peaceful and inclusive path for all Syrians: women, men and young people.  Sadly, the elections taking place today will not bring us any closer to this goal. 


Mr. President,


While a ceasefire continues to hold largely in the North West, it is tragic and unacceptable that so far this year more than five hundred civilians are estimated to have died from the conflict in Syria, many of them innocent children. The loss of further human life to a conflict that has already lasted ten years too long is shameful. 


Mr. President,


Ireland strongly condemns those parties in Syria who continue to disregard international human rights and humanitarian law.  The Syrian authorities, through repressive measures, continue to arbitrarily arrest and detain their own citizens with blatant disregard for due process. 


We think of the tens of thousands of those Syrian citizens who have been subjected to arbitrary detention, as well as those who have gone missing.  It is an act of cruelty to leave families in limbo, unable to even ascertain the fate of loved ones.  It is unconscionable that any government can have such callous disregard for their own citizens.


Geir, your continued efforts to make progress on detainees, abductees and missing persons have our full support. 


Mr. President,


We know there can be no peace without justice, and Ireland remains strongly of the view that accountability for violations of International Humanitarian Law and international human rights law is essential. Ireland commends the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism and the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria for their work.


The reports of the Commission of Inquiry testify to horrific crimes including the bombing of hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure.


Ireland strongly condemns those acts, as well as attacks against civil society and human rights defenders.


Finally, Mr. President,


We know it is long past time for this Council to live up to its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and to call on the Syrian authorities to at last engage meaningfully within the Constitutional Committee and a wider political process, as outlined in resolution 2254.



This Council must also demand that the Syrian authorities comply with their obligations under international law and bring an end to brutal policies, so that the people of Syria can live their lives in freedom and without fear. The long-suffering people of Syria surely deserve no less.


Thank you, Mr. President.

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