We have arrived at another critical point in the Syrian conflict. After terrible violence, an uneasy calm prevails on the ground – and now, Syrians face a new potentially devastating threat in COVID-19.
Security Council Briefings (Text)
Since my briefing two weeks ago, I cannot report any progress in ending the current violence in the northwest or in reconvening the political process.
Thank you for the opportunity to brief on the alarming situation in north-west Syria, which has further escalated since last week’s briefings. Heavy strikes from both air and ground are causing massive waves of civilian displacement and major loss of civilian life.
It is an honor for me to brief this Council today. The Special Envoy is in Damascus where he is seeking to de-escalate the situation in the northwest and to renew progress in the UN-facilitated political process. Let me update the Council on where we stand today.
One year ago, many believed that the Syrian conflict was winding down. Yet the past 12 months have seen a steady stream of violence, punctuated by escalations, that continue to this day, across many areas of Syria – such as the northwest, the northeast and the south.
On 30 October, 150 Syrian men and women gathered in Geneva to launch a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, credible, balanced and inclusive Constitutional Committee facilitated by the United Nations. This was a potentially historic moment.
In one month, on 30 October 2019, I intend to convene 150 Syrian men and women for the launch of a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, credible, balanced and inclusive Constitutional Committee facilitated by the United Nations in Geneva.
The scale of violence and instability in Syria is extremely alarming.
Let me start with the very worrying situation in and around the Idlib de-escalation area. Regrettably the fighting continues, with reports of: airstrikes, shelling, rockets and mortar attacks, all too often involving the indiscriminate use of force.
I have spent the last eight weeks shuttling between the Syrian Government and opposition and consulting key players.
I have taken up this task with all humility, and conscious of the profound grief and suffering of the Syrian people everywhere. I am conscious of the need to end this conflict for the sake of Syria, the region and the world. I know you all understand the scale and difficulty of my task.