GA: Briefings on the humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

Last updated: 2/26/2014 // Statement by H.E. Ambassador Tine Morch Smith, Chargé D’Affaires and Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN.

Mr. President

Firstly, let me echo others in thanking for the introductions.

The civil war in Syria has created one of the greatest humanitarian disasters in recent history. The lack of access for the UN and humanitarian actors is causing unimaginable suffering.

Norway warmly welcomes the adoption last Saturday of the Security Council resolution 2139 on humanitarian access in Syria. We commend the work of Australia, Luxembourg and Jordan in this regard.  

While there can only be a political solution to the crisis in Syria, it is imperative that humanitarian actors are able to reach affected population, alleviate human suffering and save lives.

The adoption of the resolution represents positive and important progress. As stated by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the main challenge now is to translate the words into deeds and achieve concrete results on the ground.

Piecemeal implementation is not an option. Full and timely access to all people in need is what is required. Nothing less. Respecting international humanitarian law and human rights must not be seen as a concession. There are rules in war that all parties are obliged to follow.

We therefore welcome the monthly reporting and the intention of the Council to take further steps if the parties do not comply.

We look forward to further information on how the monitoring and reporting should be structured, and would also like to know more on how security for humanitarian workers on the ground will be ensured.

Lastly, Norway welcomed the record high pledges at the donor conference in January. We are in the process of allocating our pledge and urge all donors to deliver on these premises. This is crucial in order to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people and also to help ease the burden of Syria`s generous neighbouring states.

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