At midnight the first cessation of hostilities in five years of war in Syria began, following the unanimous adoption of resolution 2268 by the UN Security Council.
This is the first chance to put an end to violence on the ground and should not be missed. If it holds, it will create the conditions for full, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access throughout Syria. It will provide an opportunity to deliver on the confidence building measures agreed by the Security Council. In turn, it will enable UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura to reconvene the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva and create the conditions for the political transition that was agreed unanimously by the UN Security Council.
All of us in the international community as well as the parties to the conflict have a responsibility to make this work and not waste the opportunity to save lives and to put Syria on the road to a peaceful solution to the conflict.