SYRIA: FACING DEFUNCT INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE DEFUNCT UN CHARTER

WE PUBLISH HERE TWO IMPORTANT INTERVENTIONS BY BASHAR AL-JAAFARI, REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC AT THE SEAT OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN NEW YORK.

WE REPRODUCE HIS SPEECH OF 29 JUNE 2020 AND AN EXTRACT OF HIS SPEECH OF 29 JULY 2020 WHERE HE EXPRESSES WITH DETERMINATION AND COURAGE THE POSITIONS OF THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT.

 

SYRIA FACING DEFUNCT INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE DEFUNCT UN CHARTER

Dr Bashar al-Jaafari, Special Envoy of Syria to the United Nations, 06/29/2020

Mister President,

Socrates spoke truth when he said that humanity is not a religion, but a level reached by some humans. Against this background, there is no doubt that the governments of certain Western countries which attempt to pass themselves off as paragons of humanity and ethics have failed to reach such a level.

This certainty was confirmed when the governments of these countries turned a deaf ear to the call by the United Nations Secretary-General on March 23, 2020, to renounce unilateral coercive measures. Namely, within this organization, we are not talking about sanctions, but “unilateral coercive measures” because they are illegal and illegitimate. Measures which, contrary to the Secretary-General’s call, these governments hastened to announce the extension and even the hardening with, consequently, the confirmation of their failure of the test of credibility and humanity.

Does not the suffering of two billion people caused by such measures deserve the holding of special emergency meetings of your council, to put an end to this crime against humanity and to hold those responsible to account?

And doesn’t the lifting of these unilateral coercive measures affecting twenty-four million Syrians deserve immediate action on the part of the so-called humanitarian penholders, instead of what we have witnessed today as in during other sessions of the same kind, such as feverish efforts to promote false allegations or accusations, and such unsuccessful attempts to escape responsibility for economic terrorism and the collective punishments practiced against millions of Syrian civilians?

How do you expect a sane person to believe that Germany and Belgium, today’s humanitarian penholders, supported by the US, UK and France, harbour any goodwill? or the slightest humanitarian concern for the safety and well-being of Syrians, while the governments of these countries are harming each of them by targeting their livelihoods, their access to medicines, their children’s food, security and their country’s resources? All this, in addition to their support for the US-Turkish-Israeli occupation of parts of my country and crimes committed directly or indirectly through separatist militias and terrorist organisations?

It is terribly sad for free people in this world to see these countries playing the role of judge, jury and executioner at the same time in this Council.

Mister President,

The governments of some member states of this council have pushed their hostile policies towards my country to the point that they are now totally incapable of playing a positive and constructive role in the situation in Syria and in the whole region. Proof of this is the silence and pressure placed on the Security Council by those same governments trying to make it a platform for NATO, rather than for the maintenance of peace and security.

And this, especially since it seems that the governments in question have yielded to the whims and ambitions of the American administration and have become admirers of the policies of occupation, turkification and support for terrorism practiced by the regime Erdogan on the territory of my country.

Erdogan, whose expansionist ambitions they also support, the crimes against Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Armenia, Greece and Cyprus, as well as the violations of the rights of his opponents among the Turkish people friend. Violations manifested the day after the alleged coup attempt [in Turkey]; which, as you all know, was followed by massive violations of the rights of tens of thousands of civilians and Turkish state officials.

Let us be clear: if some dream of repeating, in my country, the experience of the Turkish occupation of part of Cypriot territory since 1974, we will not allow it, even if NATO is behind Erdogan.

I invite my fellow NATO representatives in this Council to answer our questions frankly and unequivocally:

  • Do you support international law and the Charter of the United Nations or do you support the American-Turkish-Israeli occupation of parts of my country?

  • Do you respect what the resolutions of your Council say on the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of my country, or do you support the attempts aimed at partition, the continuation of destabilization and insecurity in my country and in the region?

  • Do you believe in the usefulness of the fight against terrorism and the liberation of civilians from the control of terrorist organizations, or is investment in terrorism permitted and desired when it serves your agendas?

  • Do you believe in the principles of humanitarian work – or is it legitimate to attack, besiege and intimidate Syrians as long as it serves your interests and agendas?

  • How do you explain your silence regarding Erdogan’s refusal to allow humanitarian convoys from inside Syria to the areas he occupies in North-Western Syria, as was the case for the convoy that was to visit on April 14, 2020, with the approval of the Syrian government, in the region of Al-Atarib and its surroundings; convoy still not dispatched by OCHA [UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs]?

  • And if you prevent this Council from fulfilling its main responsibilities in the maintenance of international peace and security, what would be the alternative international benchmark to which we could entrust the principles and objectives of the United Nations?

Mister President,

The humanitarian penholders are once again preparing a draft resolution intended to extend the effects of resolution 2165 (2014) on cross-border humanitarian aid [5]. I will not elaborate on the well-known position of my country which rejects such resolutions which are totally far removed from the humanitarian objectives and the provisions of General Assembly resolution 46/182 [6]. Resolutions that aim to serve the agendas of hostile governments, violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic on the basis of politicized allegations and distorted reports by OCHA, and ignore the considerable efforts made by the institutions of the Syrian State in this area in cooperation with its partners, allied and friendly countries.

Resolution 2165 (2014) renewed by resolution 2449 (2018) and then by resolution 2504 (2020) is an exceptional and temporary measure adopted by the Security Council in past circumstances. Its persistence cannot be authorized or reinforced by the insertion of new cross-border crossings that could serve the occupation and threaten the integrity and unity of the Syrian territories. Only the crossing points of Al-boukamal and Nassib and the airports of Aleppo and Qamichli are available. In other words, OCHA can bring its humanitarian aid to Syria through two border crossings and two airports.

Instead of wasting time with unnecessary detail and misleading OCHA reports, your Council should tackle the root causes of the crisis. This would restore security and stability and improve the humanitarian situation. This means that the US-Turkish occupation and its crimes, including the destruction of Syrian infrastructure, the looting of all kinds of resources and the burning of agricultural crops, should be ended. And this implies supporting the efforts of the Syrian state and its allies in their fight against terrorism, in addition to the immediate lifting of unilateral coercive measures.

Measures which are not limited to exhausting the means of subsistence of millions of Syrians but which aim, among other things, at dividing my country, as evidenced by the famous “Caesar law” whose provisions do not apply to the North-East of Syria as encouragement to separatist tendencies among the militias subservient to the occupiers, and in order to create new realities on the ground.

Mister President,

My delegation renews its appeal to countries which are committed to respecting international law and the maintenance of international peace and security, to end the politicization of the humanitarian issue in my country, to support the efforts of the State in the fields of humanitarian and development, and also to reject the political conditions and diktats imposed by certain governments with the aim of hampering recovery efforts and the return of displaced Syrians.

Regarding the “Brussels conferences”, my government reiterates its position and stresses the fact that they are nothing more than propaganda aimed at serving the agenda of certain organizing countries deeply determined to politicize humanitarian action and impose their conditions; reaffirms that it does not recognize any initiative or meeting concerning Syria without its participation and full coordination; reiterates its call on the United Nations not to participate in such demonstrations in order to respect its impartial role and the guiding principles of humanitarian action as set out in resolution 46/182.

In conclusion Mister President,

The invitation of false witnesses before this Council does not serve the noble cause which it would have endeavoured to defend throughout a hundred sessions held to date, but consists in deliberately hijacking its mechanisms with the intention of distorting the facts and mislead the representatives of the Member States.

These repeated invitations to “instruments” of falsification of facts, whether it be the humanitarian situation, the political or chemical dossier, testify to the level of prejudice inflicted by the enemies of my country and the extent of their frustration in the face of the failure of their bet on terrorism and on “sanctions” during all these years of crisis.

The guests of the Presidency of this Council for its information on any humanitarian issue must play a responsible role and not just a role of criticism, nuisance and incitement against the government and the people of my country.

Anyone speaking about a humanitarian situation, from any country, should be trustworthy and knowledgeable about the provisions of the Charter and the disciplines of discourse.

Thank you Mister President,

Dr Bashar al-Jaafari, Special Envoy of Syria to the United Nations, 06/29/2020

Source: The Syrian Mission to the United Nations (video)

Notes:

[1] [Supporting the future of Syria and the region – Brussels IV Conference, 30 June 2020]

[2] [Syria – Humanitarian aid – Participation of Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne in the fourth Brussels conference on assistance for the future of Syria and the countries of the region (by videoconference, June 30, 2020)]

[3] [Angelus of June 28, 2020 – Pope Francis] (from 14’24’’ to 15’54 ’’)

[4] [Syria: Emergency Relief Coordinator calls on Security Council to renew cross-border operations to North-Western Syria, 11 days before their expiration]

[5] [UN: A 31st resolution to override Syrian sovereignty…]

| 6] [OCHA with one voice: General Assembly resolution 46/182]

The original source of this article is The Syrian Mission to the United Nations

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Extract from Bashar al-Jaafari’s speech one month later:

Mister President,

Those who claim defence of humanitarian issues must look at the facts as they are, not as they are presented in agendas, by definition, hostile to my country. In this regard, allow me to briefly recall the following points in relation to Syria’s efforts in this area:

  • On April 14, 2020, the government of my country informed the United Nations that it was ready to facilitate the delivery of a convoy of humanitarian aid to the town of Atareb and its surroundings in the north-west of the Syria. Today, a hundred days later, OCHA has still not undertaken anything for the delivery of this convoy. Thank you Mr. Lowcock! [Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator].

  • The Syrian government facilitated the overland delivery of a shipment of WHO-chartered medical aid from Latakia to North-Western Syria. A second shipment, which had been in Iraq for a while, also recently arrived in Syria; the Syrian government facilitated its transport by air from Iraqi Erbil Airport to Damascus International Airport before routing it by road to the Qamichli region in North-Eastern Syria. This refutes any allegation regarding the impossibility of delivering cross-border aid to all regions of the Syrian Arab Republic.

  • The Syrian government informed OCHA that it could work inter-humanitarian on Syrian territory and use officially designated crossing points, including the Albu-kamal crossing open to Iraq, the Nassib crossing open to Jordan, Aleppo airport and Qamichli airport. This refutes the necessary obligation of cross-border humanitarian work and even the need for a Security Council resolution. However, OCHA has done nothing to take advantage of this proposal.

Mister President,

My delegation reaffirms the content of the official complaint addressed on May 31, 2020 by the Syrian government to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to the President of the Security Council. It denounces the practices of certain governments of member states, in particular the United States, Great Britain, France and Turkey; including those concerning the unilateral coercive measures imposed by these same countries on Syria and other countries, the illegal occupation of our territory, the repression and the deliberate murder of our citizens.

Three months later, we are still awaiting an official response. And in this regard, we regret that the spokesperson for the Secretary-General, questioned three times about the action taken by his secretariat following our complaint, has always refused to answer us.

Thank you Mister President,

Dr Bashar al-Jaafari, 07/29/2020