Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Informal meeting on the humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

Statement by

Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

NEW YORK, 25 FEBRUARY 2014

 

 

Mr. President,

The Netherlands aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union. Allow me to emphasize a few points in my national capacity.

Like others, the Netherlands welcomes the unanimous adoption of Security Council resolution 2139 last Saturday. Australia, Jordan and Luxemburg are to be commended for taking the initiative for this resolution and for their perseverance.

Resolution 2139 calls for practical, specific measures that should lead to rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and thus to a lessening of the human suffering.

The resolution calls on all parties to take action, but rightly stresses the responsibility of the Syrian regime in particular.

Immediate, unconditional and full implementation of these measures on the ground in Syria is now of paramount importance. Too much time has been lost already, and the people of Syria have paid an unacceptably high price, children in particular.

We are relieved that the Security Council has put its collective weight behind the resolution and is serious about its implementation, requesting the Secretary-General to report every 30 days, and expressing its intention to take further steps in case of non-compliance.

Let's hope that the implementation of resolution 2139 will constitute a turning point - belated, but still - in the appalling humanitarian situation in Syria.

At the same time, we remain fully aware that the only way out of the Syrian crisis is through a political solution. The quest for such a solution should continue unabated, including by the Security Council. Accountability should be part of this. To cease and desist from violations of international humanitarian law and violations of human rights is in itself not enough. Justice should be done for the victims of past crimes. Lives were taken instantly and justice should be done without delay. We remain convinced of the general principle that if national systems are unable to deliver justice, the International Criminal Court is the preferred alternative.

Finally, Mr. President, allow me to draw a comparison to the work currently underway here at the UN to agree on a post-2015 development agenda. This work is progressing steadily and in good faith. We seem to agree on such principles as 'leave no one behind' and 'a life of dignity for all'. The appalling situation in Syria is a stark example of how crucial peace and human security are if we are to realize our vision of a World We Want.

Thank you.