I would like to thank briefers for their valuable insight. Also, I would like to extend gratitude to humanitarian workers on the frontlines in Syria, who continue to provide aid to millions of people.
This month we mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy of the Syrian people. Unfortunately, a decade since the start of peaceful protests, the war is far from over. Estonia calls for a full nation-wide cease-fire in Syria. We condemn last week’s strikes of the Syrian regime and Russia in northwest Syria, especially an attack on a hospital near Aleppo – it is a serious violation of the International Humanitarian Law.
Despite our attempts to provide relief to all people in need, the delivery of humanitarian aid to Northern Syria has been greatly disrupted. Last year’s vetoes of Russia and China to the extension of cross-border aid resulted in its significant reduction to many areas.
The Syrian regime has not managed to facilitate cross-line aid. There is no reliable agreement between humanitarian organizations and the authorities for bringing much needed help to Northern Syria.
Estonia joins other Security Council members in calling for the renewal of cross-border aid this July. To achieve this, we extend our firm support to the penholders, Norway and Ireland. This vital assistance must continue, especially during the pandemic. Further limiting access would have catastrophic consequences to millions of people, including children in Syria.
Mr. President – European Union restrictive measures do not impede in any way the provision of humanitarian aid in Syria, especially food and medical supplies. These sanctions target only those, who have committed crimes against Syrian people. Sanctions will remain in place, until a genuine political transition is firmly underway in Syria, in line with the Security Council resolutions.
The European Union, together with its Member States, is the largest donor of humanitarian aid to Syria and the region. Estonia has contributed financially to the humanitarian relief since the start of the crisis. And tomorrow, at the Fifth Brussels Conference, I will pledge additional funding to alleviate the human suffering of Syrian people.
Thank you, Mr. President.