Remarks by H.E. António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, on the situation in the Middle East (Syria), at the 8201st meeting of the Security Council.
Secretary-General António Guterres today (12 Mar) told the Security Council that, despite the passage of Resolution 2401 on 24 February, “there has been no cessation of hostilities” in Syria.
The Secretary-General said, “violence continues in eastern Ghouta and beyond,” including in Afrin, parts of Idlib and into Damascus and its suburbs.
He said humanitarian aid continues to face blockages, with the humanitarian and human rights situation becoming more desperate by the day.
Guterres said, “the resolution calls for and I quote, all parties to lift the sieges in populated areas, including in Eastern Ghouta, Yarmouk, Fu’ah and Kefriya. No sieges have been lifted. The resolution demands for the medical evacuation of the critically sick and wounded. To our knowledge, not one critically sick or wounded person has yet been evacuated.”
Despite “all the difficulties, lack of trust, mutual suspicions, or cold calculations,” he said “it should be possible to implement resolution 2401; it should be possible to have a cessation of hostilities; it should be possible to deliver aid; it should be possible to evacuate the sick and wounded; it should be possible to lift the sieges; it should be possible to accelerate humanitarian mine action throughout Syria; it should also be possible to remove Security Council listed terrorist fighters from conflict zones without massive and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure.”