Excellences, dear colleagues,
This month we mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy of the Syrian people. Unfortunately, ten years since the start of peaceful protests in Syria, where forceful crackdowns turned into a full-scale civil war, we still do not see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Decade-long conflict in Syria has led to a massive displacement of civilian population with severe humanitarian consequences. Instability continues; people suffer from widespread violence; thousands of people are detained or missing; homes destroyed; chemical weapons used against its own people. Most of children have never lived a day without war. It is a living nightmare, not enough words to describe it.
Syrian people deserve peace.
Syrian people deserve justice.
Syrian children deserve future.
We cannot allow Syria to become another protracted crises, with despair to last another decade. Tremendous human suffering can end only when a credible political solution is found. We fully support efforts of the UN Special Envoy Pedersen to move forward with the political process to achieve sustainable peace and stability.
And the Syrian regime and its allies must understand that there will be no support for Syria’s reconstruction or lifting sanctions until a genuine political transition is firmly underway.
Meanwhile we must keep assisting the Syrian people as humanitarian needs remain tremendous. Humanitarian access to all people in need remains priority, including cross-border delivery.
Estonia continues to contribute financially to the mitigation of Syrian humanitarian crisis. Estonia’s contribution so far has been 11 million euros as total to alleviate the human suffering of Syrian people. Estonia has fulfilled its previous pledges and even exceeded them. Today I would like to announce additional pledge of 1.3 million euros for the years of 2021/22 in order to meet the continuing humanitarian needs caused by long-lasting conflict.