I would like to thank our hosts: the European Union and the UN.
We need to turn the coming decade for the Syrian people into a decade of peace, hope, and healing. Sweden stands ready to contribute, as we have done these last ten years. But for peace, refugee returns and reconstruction to be sustainable, there needs to be a political solution. We urge all parties to act responsibly and use their influence to this end. We fully support the efforts of Special Envoy Pedersen, including to ensure the full and effective participation of women.
Over the coming three years, we will increase Sweden’s financial contribution through our regional aid strategy for the Syria crisis by more than thirty percent. We will continue to strengthen the resilience of the Syrian people and their host communities, in Syria and in the region. This includes supporting the neighbouring countries, which continue to show great generosity in hosting millions of refugees. We will also continue our substantial humanitarian efforts.
In total, Sweden pledges an initial 97 million US dollars to the Syria crisis response for 2021. In addition, we are one of the largest donors of core funding to the concerned UN agencies.
We will also strengthen our efforts to achieve accountability for the horrific crimes that have been, and continue to be committed, not least by the Syrian regime and Daesh. Fighting impunity and achieving justice for victims is fundamental in moving Syria towards sustainable peace and reconciliation.
Lastly, I urge the UN Security Council to assume its responsibility, renew the humanitarian cross-border mandate and reinstate former border crossings, including to northeast Syria. Millions of lives depend on it.