Remarks by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo before the Security Council meeting on Syria (humanitarian) - February 27, 2020

27.02.2020 - Press release

Germany and Belgium are Co-Penholders of the Syrian humanitarian file.

With our presence in New York today my German colleague and I would like to underline our country’s utmost commitment to this issue.

The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Idlib and the humanitarian needs in other parts of Syria must be a key priority of the UN Security Council.

The Council, the Secretary General, the international community must get even more engaged than what they have been doing up to now.

The displacement of nearly 1 Million people in only three months, half of them are children which are in extremely difficult circumstances in the winter in Syria. Thousands of people today are starving because of hunger and because of the cold. The killing of hundreds of civilians, the daily suffering of hundred thousands of children and the constant violations of international humanitarian law must stop! What we see is the almost weaponisation of humanitarian access and assistance. This is something that the international community cannot accept, and we clearly want to give the message here today that this must stop as soon as possible.

Now I give the word to my German colleague.

Thank you Alexander for the good cooperation on this issue, not only today.

Today the Executive Director of UNICEF will brief this Council on the situation of children in Idlib.

Children who have never experienced peace, never went to school and are now freezing to death.

There is more this Council can and must do to stop the suffering. First and foremost, full humanitarian access is needed. It must be ensured that aid reaches those in need.

Secondly, a humanitarian ceasefire is essential. Finally, we need to redouble our efforts to come to a political solution.

Thank you very much.

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