The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D., today spoke at the UN Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria. The meeting was chaired by US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
Addressing the Council, the Minister recalled that Ireland is co-penholder with Norway on the Syria humanitarian file, and pointed to “a shared commitment to ensuring that humanitarian assistance continues to reach all people in need”.
The Minister outlined the extent of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, describing it as “truly staggering in scale, and severity”, before calling on the UN Security Council to take action, to “ensure that humanitarian actors can carry out their work”.
The Minister described his recent visit to the Turkish-Syrian border crossing at Bab al Hawa, where he saw “first-hand the UN operation which provides a vital lifeline to over 3 million people in North West Syria”.
He also recalled his meetings with Syrian and International Non-Governmental Organisations, and the UN agencies working there, noting that “their first-hand accounts brought home to me again the sheer human misery – and the waste of human potential – that results from conflict”.
The Minister paid tribute to the work of the UN Monitoring Mission at the border crossing, and urged the UN Security Council to renew its mandate before it expires in July.
The Minister concluded by noting Ireland’s strong support for a sustainable political solution to the Syrian conflict, cautioning that absent progress on the political track, many millions of Syrians will remain desperately in need of humanitarian assistance.
29 March 2021
Notes for Editors:
1. This is the monthly UN Security Council discussion on the humanitarian situation in Syria, which Secretary of State Blinken will chair (the US holds the presidency of the Security Council in March).
2. Ireland and Norway take it in turns to deliver a joint statement as co-penholders of the Syrian cross border humanitarian aid delivery file. This month it is Norway’s turn to deliver the joint statement. Minister will speak in a national capacity.
3. The Minister will also participate in the Brussels V conference on Syria tomorrow.