European Union External Action

Syria: Statement by High Representative Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič on the UN vote on cross border assistance

Brussels, 12/07/2020 - 17:33, UNIQUE ID: 200712_4
Joint Statements

The United Nations Security Council adopted on Saturday a much-needed resolution on cross border assistance that is crucial for helping people suffering from the conflict in Syria.

We appreciate the tireless efforts of the penholders - Germany and Belgium - and all other EU Member States and likeminded countries at the UN Security Council to get the resolution adopted in order to ensure the maintenance of essential cross border assistance to the people of Syria.

However, it is a matter of deep concern that the resolution adopted after repeated vetoes by Russia and China authorises only one crossing point out of the two previously available to the UN. The unconstructive approach of certain members of the Security Council is all the more regrettable at a time when needs have never been greater and in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

Only the Bab al-Hawa crossing point is now left for the UN to provide essential humanitarian assistance. The authorisation of only one crossing will hamper the delivery of life-saving emergency supplies to hundreds of thousands of people in need in North-West Syria. The reports by the UN Secretary General of 21 February and 24 June called for full, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need in all parts of the Syrian Arab Republic, using all modalities, including scale up of cross-line and cross-border deliveries.

The European Union supports this demand and will continue to do its utmost to provide assistance to those in need inside Syria, even under the current circumstances when the humanitarian space continues to shrink.

The European Union recalls that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict. The only solution is a political one. This was a key message of the Fourth Brussels Conference on the future of Syria and the region, which was co-hosted by the EU and the UN and took place on 30 June 2020. The EU calls on all parties to engage in good faith in the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254.