Remarks by H.E. Amb. Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu at the side event titled “Aleppo: Humanity under fire”

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 10.03.2017
I am pleased to co-organize this event with the Permanent Representatives of the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Syrian American Medical Society has been doing a brave and commendable work, with a great human sacrifice, to treat Syrians who urgently need medical assistance.

I salute the heroes and the heroine who are here with us today.

Their testimonies reminded us once again the stark reality about the tragic condition of humanity on the ground in Syria.

The recently published Commission of Inquiry report details some of the grave abuses of human rights and unspeakable crimes committed by the regime and its partners in Aleppo.

Most of you will recall that during apex of the assault against East Aleppo, in December 2016, we strained every nerve to ensure safe and secure evacuation of people.

Together with our partners, we called for an Emergency Special Session at the General Assembly on the situation in Aleppo.

Our hard work led to the unanimous adoption of the Security Council Resolution 2328. This was a modest but promising step after a long deadlock at the UN Security Council on Syria.

Turkey and Turkish NGOs worked around-the-clock to safely evacuate 45.000 people, including medical staff, from Eastern Aleppo in order to save their lives.

As a follow up and to prevent similar tragedies, we facilitated, together with the Russian Federation a country-wide ceasefire.

The Security Council (through resolution 2336) unanimously supported this process. The ceasefire and the Astana talks, which were complementary and supportive to the UN-led political process contributed to the resumption of fourth round of negotiations in Geneva. In this process, unconditional humanitarian access has been a top priority for Turkey.

Dear Guests,

What we heard today from SAMS reminds us that while refocusing our efforts on ceasefire, political talks and humanitarian access, accountability remains a central concern.

Deterrence of future crimes, reconciliation and sustainable peace in Syria will be based on our success on this matter.

The erosion of international law, international humanitarian law, and continuing violations of human rights across Syria does not fit any criteria we know.

Together with our partners, we will continue to work to end impunity for deliberate targeting of medical facilities, doctors, schools and children, use of chemical weapons and aerial bombing of humanitarian aid convoys.

We shall remind those who plan similar bloody campaigns in Idleb or East Ghouta that their actions will have grave consequences.

In this regard, adoption of Resolution 71/248 by the General Assembly on accountability is a significant development. Turkey will support efforts for greater accountability. Advocacy of organizations like SAMS is also valuable.

In conclusion we reiterate our strong will to continue supporting the legitimate aspirations of our Syrian brothers and sisters and assisting their humanitarian needs together with our partners.

Thank you.