Full text of the speech by Bashar Ja’afari, Ambassador of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations, at the Security Council on February 4, 2012, on the draft resolution on Syria
Thank you Mr. President.
I congratulate your friendly country Togo, and Your Excellency, sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council during this month. We wish you all success in fulfilling this sensitive stewardship. Also, I would like to congratulate His Excellency, my colleague, Ambassador Baso, the Ambassador of South Africa for presiding over the Council during the past month.
Mr. President, I think that drawing inspiration from history in this chamber is an extremely important exercise. Invoking examples from the cultures and traditions of peoples and nations is a critical asset. I am saying these words and I am recalling in this context the literary masterpiece written by the German man of letters, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and the title of that masterpiece was Doctor Faustus (sic: Faust). It is a novel that speaks in symbolic terms on the risks inherent in the fact that a person, any person, who might be very wise, sells his soul to Satan. This symbolic story almost captures what I would like to prelude my full statement with, namely, that a human being should not sell his or hell soul to Satan in return supposed gains that could bring destruction of that person’s hope for freedom down the road later.
My delegation, Mr. President, had examined the text of the draft resolution put before this august council. Given our firm belief in the Pan-Arab role, we had hoped that the examination of the question of Syria would have remained, first, exclusively in the Syrian household and then in the larger supporting Arab structure. But the rush by some parties to invite international intervention when we know in advance the objectives of its dealing with Arab issues–first and foremost the question of Palestine and the Israeli occupation of Arab territories–is a cause for concern. It is indeed a cause a for sadness, deep sadness for the regrettable state of affairs in which we now find ourselves.
At this point, Mr. President, I would like to quote, in English, a sentence which was said some 22 years ago by the former U.S. Attorney General, Mr. Ramsey Clark. He said, and I quote: “The United Nations, which was created to prevent the scourge of war, has become an instrument of war”. My delegation has followed with full appreciation the efforts made by the advocates in this council for the rights of peoples and the Charter of the United Nations as well as its objectives and purposes, especially the inadmissibility of intervention in the internal affairs of countries and waging wars against those countries in order to gain exclusive control of their geographical location as well as their lucrative natural resources, and the resolution of Western powers’ economic problems at the expense of the peoples of the developing nations. For those states that safeguard international peace and security, we wish to express our deep gratitude and the annals of history will record their noble positions.
Is it not strange, Mr. President, that this Security Council has adopted over a period of 43 years, i.e. since its creation in 1945 until 1988, only 690 resolutions–and in the following 20 years, the Security Council adopted three times this number of resolutions? This is an indicator that the current world is less secure, less just, less fair, and that the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations are under severe threats.
I would like to stress, Mr. President, in this context, that the Syrian Arab Republic, which is a founding member of this world organization, has been targeted by some powers to punish it as a result of its commitment to international legality, especially in areas of defending the rights of peoples. Today Syria is a sacrifice of a crisis manufactured by parties that do not want good for Syria and its people by support given by these parties in terms of money and armaments and favourable media coverage to armed terrorist groups that kill, abduct, and intimidate Syrian citizens, and destroying and sabotaging the infrastructure including power generation equipment, oil and gas pipelines, premises of the Ministry of Justice, and railroads.
Mr. President, is there a sensible person who believes that a given government would commit massacres in a given city on a day when the Security Council is scheduled to hold a meeting to examine the situation in that country? Would any entity put itself in such a position?
The most convincing proof of the criminal nature of these groups, Mr. President, are the acts committed today, this morning, that destroyed lives of innocent people, homes, and the buildings of Syrian embassies in many capitals, supported by media campaigns. All that is taking place in order to send out a misleading message that would influence this august council in order to sway the positions of the decision-makers in this council on the draft resolution.
The best proof of our good intentions, Mr. President, and our good faith in dealing the Arab League, is contained in the report by the Observers of the Arab League. What is really strange is that you have not examined that report, in due time, for reasons known to all of you. That report has confirmed that Syria has fulfilled its obligations under the Protocol [of the Arab League]. Here, once, twice, for the third and fourth time, let me stress that if killing ceased and those who pay lip-service to democracy cease to implement the design planned against Syria, and if those states that provide generous funds–millions of dollars–to the armed groups, and providing them with the latest weaponry and means of communication, and host them in their capitals, in order to facilitate their criminal acts against the Syrian people and their property–without all that, Syria would have fulfilled the Arab League Plan of Action and the relevant Protocol under that plan.
Some Arab Gulf states, Mr. President, have dragged the Arab League to the Security Council, with a view to leverage the power of this council against Syria and to internationalize a purely Arab issue, contrary to the provisions of the Charter of the Arab League. Despite the fact that from the beginning of the crisis, all Arab leaders in the Arab League were competing among themselves to stress that they were not seeking the internationalization of the crisis in Syria.
The report of the Observers’ Mission, that I mentioned, has stressed that Syria has fulfilled is obligations, despite the acts of violence. Let me quote to this council paragraph 73 of that report [see below]: “The Mission noted that the Government [of Syria] strived to help it [the Arab League Observers’ Mission] succeed in its task and remove any barriers that might stand in its way. The Government also facilitated meetings with all parties. No restrictions were placed on the movement of the Mission and its ability to interview Syrian citizens, both those who opposed the Government and those loyal to it”.
Mr. President, some two months and a half ago, the Qatari satellite channel, Al Jazeera, broadcast from Doha a political program hosted by a well known anchor. The two guests hosted by that program, the current Tunisian President (who was not President at the time) and a Syrian political activist–in that program, two and a half months ago, the host of the program said, speaking to the Tunisian President: “Don’t ask me about identities of the sources of my information, but I have received this information from the highest levels in Doha, and that information is that the Syrian regime will change on the 22nd of January”–i.e. the very same day that the Arab League met in Cairo and took a decision to come to this council.
Mr. President, it is indeed strange here that the calls for reform, respect for human rights, and allowing peaceful demonstrations, apply to Syria only and not to any state in the region, especially those countries that cosponsored the draft resolution submitted against Syria.
Some Arab states, that have cosponsored the draft resolution, are the very same states that prevented the Arab League from endorsing the Integrated Initiative submitted by Syria to the Arab League regarding bolstering the process of promotion of democracy and reform and human rights–in all Arab states. That Initiative included a demand for issuing an Arab League decision, by the Council of the Arab League, that would put forward a comprehensive Arab vision in order to promote democracy and reform in all Arab countries and to fulfill the aspirations of the masses in areas of freedom, human rights, multi-party systems, freedom of information, fair and transparent elections, and guaranteeing freedom of expression, and the right of assembly and peaceful demonstration, and respect for the rights of minorities, alien residents and expatriate workers on their land.
Is it rational, Mr. President, that among those who cosponsored this draft resolution are states that prevent women from attending a soccer match? At the same time, those states are calling on Syria to be democratic?
Peaceful demonstration, Mr. President, is a basic right guaranteed under Syrian law. Also the demand for reform is the right of every Syrian citizen–no one can deny that. However, the thing that no law can guarantee, and no state would accept, is terrorism, chaos, sabotaging public and private property, destabilization of a community. With that, every peaceful demonstrator, every person who calls for genuine reform, in order to safeguard the Syrian homeland, in the face of great assaults, and all those who seek dialogue as a way of resolving the crisis, is not only a welcome partner–indeed, a basic component of any effort to end the crisis in Syria, as well as an integral part of reform and development in Syria.
The draft resolution, which has failed to pass today, emphasized the importance of dialogue that you are speaking about. We are for this dialogue, for the success of this dialogue–but those who call for being parties in this dialogue have refused to engage in dialogue, openly, and the Security Council is fully aware of that. The Arab League is aware of that, as well as the countries who sought and that continue to seek hosting that dialogue. This is at a time when my country has welcomed, in this council, to embark immediately on this dialogue–comprehensive dialogue–that is inclusive of all parties. But the other side has stonewalled this dialogue under national auspices, as a result of encouragement by some, in order to adopt dominating positions, that side has rejected this dialogue and continues to reject this dialogue until this very moment. It is our hope that the parties that continue to support opposition and armed groups, and those parties as indicated in the statements of some of my distinguished colleagues, we urge them to provide sincere advice to their friends in order to encourage the process of national dialogue and abandon the aims that seek to destroy Syria and allow foreign military intervention–to join ranks to build Syria as it endeavors to renew itself.
Syria, Mr. President, will enjoy security and stability at home. Syria will continue to remain the homeland of all Syrians, irrespective of their affiliations and political positions. There will be no majority, no minority. All of this will be accomplished by Syrians themselves without external intervention. Syrians do not need to be waiting for lessons in democracy and human rights from powers that deal with these lofty concepts as if they were commodities traded in a speculative buy-and-sell exercise in a stock market.
Mr. President, my colleague, the distinguished representative of the United States of America, said that she felt “disgusted” as a result of two permanent members of the Security Council using their veto right. Here I am not evaluation what she said, I respect her point of view, but nonetheless I would like to ask her: if this “disgust” would also apply to 60 vetoes that have been used in this chamber in order to prevent establishing comprehensive peace in the region, and the fair resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the settlement of the question of Palestine?
The statements made by some distinguished colleagues betray the true, hostile, genuine intentions of their countries against Syria, against the people of Syria and the government of Syria. All along, the tone of their statements was not diplomatic. Those statements were not in line with the norms of international law. They describe the government of Syria as “regime,” and addressed the President of the state of Syria with inappropriate language. It is only logical that we say using these words, in this particular chamber, would betray their direct involvement in order to fan the flames of escalation, violence, and bloodshed of Syrians. All of this we do not accept at all.
I do not want to speak at length, Mr. President, but I would like to close my remarks by raising an important matter, namely that a journalist working at the Al Jazeera English channel in London said today–and this is documented–that instructions have been issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qatar, to escalate the media coverage tonight just hours before the convening of this Security Council session. I leave it for your discretion, ladies and gentlemen, to come to your own conclusions about these instructions that were issued to that media channel, according to these claims, in order to ratchet up pressure, falsely, against Syria that some massacres were underway.