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UN humanitarian access at Bab al Hawa remains a critical lifeline for 4.1 million Syrians: UK statement at the UN Security Council

The humanitarian crisis has deepened. And the captagon trade has only grown. As we enter the new year, we believe there are three areas where the Council can meaningfully focus. Mr President, 18th December marked eight years since this Council unanimously adopted resolution 2254. As we’ve said many times, implementation of this resolution remains the only way to end this conflict and provide sustainable peace and stability to the Syrian people. Second, UN humanitarian access at Bab al Hawa remains vital. Over three-quarters of all UN aid transits via this crossing and it remains a critical lifeline for 4.1 million Syrians. The Syrian regime’s current permissions expire on 13 January – we fully expect them to be renewed. Crossline operations can complement, but not replace, the essential support which cross-border mechanisms provide.  President, today in our final session of the year on this item, we should reflect on the situation in Syria over the last 12 months. Thank you President. And thank you to Special Envoy Pedersen and Director Doughten for their briefings.  First, the threat posed to the region from actors within Syria remains of grave concern. We are particularly concerned by the continuing attacks against the Global Coalition Against Daesh in northeast Syria; the increasing tensions along the Jordanian-Syria border; and the reported strikes into Israeli territory by the Assad regime and Iranian-affiliated forces. Regional escalation serves nobody’s interest. Finally, we need to continue to support the UN Special Envoy in his efforts to convene a meeting of the Constitutional Committee as soon as possible in the new year.  12 months in which there has been no progress on the political process. No improvement in civil or political rights for Syrians, or on arbitrary detentions. No improvement in the conditions to enable the safe, voluntary and dignified return of refugees.


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