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THURSDAY, MARCH 24TH 2022 (10:00AM)

Thank you Madame President,

1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3: Gabon, Ghana and Kenya.

2. We thank Special Envoy Geir Pedersen, USG Martin Griffiths and H.E Hossam Zaki for their briefings. We also welcome the participation of the representatives of Syria, Iran and Turkey.

3. Our statement will focus on the political, security and humanitarian situation in Syria.

Madam President,

4. Eleven years since the armed conflict in Syria, the situation remains grim and deeply concerning. We are reminded that unnecessary violent conflict has claimed thousands of lives; generated millions of refugees and internally displaced persons; ignited a humanitarian crisis of historic proportions; and impoverished an entire population of a country that once knew peace and progress.

5. Today, Syria is struggling to regain its footing under the most difficult of circumstances. Its people need our support particularly in their quest for a political solution that takes into consideration their peace and security.

6. The A3 is pleased to note that the Special Envoy convened the seventh round of the Constitutional Committee meeting which is ongoing this week in Geneva. We commend the parties for the resumption of these crucial discussions and encourage a constructive engagement on the revisions of the draft text that will hopefully yield tangible progress.

7. We hope that the Parties can make commitments to hold more regular meetings in the coming weeks to create a momentum in the search for a lasting solution.

8. The A3 is in support of other innovative efforts aimed at moving the political process forward. These include addressing the situation of detainees — including facilitating the release of the detained vulnerable particularly the elderly, women and children as well as clarifying the status of missing persons which would be a significant confidence building measure.

9. We take note of the Special Envoy’s ongoing consultations on a step-for-step approach. It is important that this approach is implemented in accord to international law and International Humanitarian Law.

10. The A3 encourages the role and support of regional actors and reaffirm the need to bear in mind that Resolution 2254 remains the foremost roadmap to achieving the desired political solution to the Syrian crisis.

11. We must emphasise that all political initiatives should be inclusive and take into account the voices of the widest spectrum of the Syrian society including women, youth, minority groups as well as civil society.

Madam President,

12. On the security situation, the A3 condemns the unrelenting violence that continues in the front lines in Northwest Syria. Despite the temporary pause in attacks in recent weeks, we are deeply concerned by the frequent shelling and airstrikes as well as mines and unexploded ordinances.

13. We underscore the imperative for decisive collective actions to combat Security Council listed groups such as ISIS/ISIL and the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). This is the foremost way to ensure that their victims who have endured suffering for far too long get justice.

14. As we have stated before, there is no military option to the Syrian crisis. We therefore reiterate our call on all parties to adhere to the nationwide ceasefire.

15. We also stress the imperative for the protection of civilians, humanitarian workers and civilian infrastructure in accordance with international humanitarian law and relevant UN resolutions.

16. This, madam President, leads me to the humanitarian situation. The A3 remains gravely concerned by the millions of people in dire need. To reach these people, the cross-border aid mechanism, complemented by crossline deliveries should be sustained. In particular, we look forward to more frequent crossline deliveries in a predictable manner.

17. We call for the urgent and special attention to be accorded to the people residing in Rukban in Southwest Syria. Their humanitarian situation is worsening and assistance to them must not be impeded.

18. To ease the colossal humanitarian burden in camps, we call on states to repatriate their citizens, especially women and children in camps including the Al Hol camp, in a safe and dignified manner in line with the standards of international humanitarian law.

Madame President,

19. The A3 is concerned by the implication of global food prices as a result of the conflict in Ukraine which is plunging already fragile and food insecure countries particularly those in conflict situations deeper into vulnerability. It is essential to undertake measures to mitigate the humanitarian impact of the situation in Ukraine including by ensuring that the international community’s humanitarian response in Syria remains adequately funded.

20. Furthermore, and given the dire economic situation marked by vast food insecurity, we urge all actors to support economic recovery measures as a key component to the longer-term peace that Syria and the region need.

21. The A3 also encourages support to the Early Recovery and Livelihoods (ERL) activities under the United Nations’ humanitarian response which is fundamental to assisting Syrians to getting back to their normal lives.

22. To conclude, Madam President, the A3 underscores that consensus on both the political and humanitarian tracks is more crucial now than ever before. All concerned parties including foreign powers must put their multiple competing interests to the side and demonstrate that the multilateral system can still be relied on as an effective mediator of global peace and security.

23. Once again, we reaffirm our respect for Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. The A3 stands in solidarity with the people of Syria in their quest for peace which can only be delivered by a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process with international support.

I thank you.

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