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Statement of Co-Penholders Germany and Belgium following UNSC meeting on Syria - January 10, 2020

10.01.2020 - Press release

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As members of the Security Council, it is our duty to address the gravest of humanitarian crises and to ensure that life-saving humanitarian assistance can reach those in dire need.

For millions of people across all of Syria, this lifeline is the United Nations cross-border mechanism. The UN organizations could not have been clearer: this lifeline is indispensable.

With this in mind, we have agreed to this compromise solution in order to maintain as much as possible of the cross-border mechanism. What we have achieved is that about 2.7 million people in Idlib will continue to receive humanitarian aid. This is urgently needed, as the population in northwest Syria continues to suffer from heavy bombardments which have already led to hundreds of thousands of refugees.

We deeply regret that it has not been possible to agree on the extension of the third border crossing at Al Yarubiyah, which is essential for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, in particular medical aid, to the people in northeast Syria.

Against this backdrop, it is particularly important that this compromise solution allows for a review process to explore alternatives for the border crossing at Al Yarubiyah. We look forward to the report of the Secretary General by the end of February 2020 in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance, including medical and surgical supplies, reaches people in need throughout Syria via the most direct routes.

Our resolve to work for the people in Syria remains unchanged, as does our willingness to continue to advocate for unobstructed delivery of humanitarian aid. This is our shared responsibility and indeed our obligation as members of the Security Council.

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