Statement of Germany, UNGA Plenary Debate following the use of the veto in the UN Security Council on “The situation in the Middle East” (11 July 2023), 19 July 2023

19.07.2023 - Speech

The Statement was delivered by Mr. Marcus Kreft

Germany fully aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union. In addition, I would like to add the following remarks in my national capacity.

Mr. President,

At the outset, let me stress that we deeply regret the latest veto cast by Russia against the resolution proposed by Brazil and Switzerland for a twelve-month renewal of the cross-border mechanism in Bab al-Hawa.

Casting a veto against the extension of a mechanism to provide humanitarian aid is irresponsible and inhumane. By doing so, Russia has shown that it does not live up to its responsibility as a permanent member of the Security Council.

Mr. President,

Germany is the world´s second largest humanitarian donor. Over the past 8 years, thousands of truckloads of humanitarian goods have been delivered to North-West Syria. We are grateful to all humanitarian workers who have worked tirelessly to save lives of Syrians in need.

Humanitarian access to those in need is governed by international humanitarian law. The parties to the conflict must allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need and such consent must not be refused.

The conditions set out in the letter sent out by the Syrian regime on 13 July are not in line with humanitarian principles. Moreover, the Syrian regime has shown time and again that it has no respect for international agreements or its obligation to grant unhindered humanitarian access.

We call on the Security Council to renew the cross-border mandate. Moreover, we call on the Syrian regime not to politicise the delivery of humanitarian aid. We fully support the relentless and persistent efforts of penholders Brazil and Switzerland. The draft text, which proposed to renew the border crossing at Bab al-Hawa for nine months, was a genuine and constructive effort to balance the wishes of all Council members.

We must not fail in ensuring that assistance reaches those in need. Humanitarian assistance should make use of all access modalities and follow a Whole of Syria-approach.

Let us also bear in mind that a real solution for sustainable peace and stability, for prosperity and hope for the Whole of Syria, lies with the political process in accordance with UNSC Res. 2254 and the Geneva Process. This very process is obstructed by the same forces now telling us that a cross-border resolution is not needed any longer.

Mr. President,

As long as one member of the Security Council continues to disregard the UN’s and humanity’s most basic principles, we will also have to discuss whether the General Assembly should put a stronger focus on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

I thank you.

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