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Nordic statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Ib Petersen, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN, at United Nations General Assembly in New York, 9 December 2016.

09.12.2016  18:26

(Check against delivery)

President,

I am speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and my own country Denmark.

Today the General Assembly will adopt a resolution that clearly expresses the horror we all share as we witness the on-going bloodshed in Syria. We thank Canada for the leadership and for the constructive process. The broad support for this resolution shows that we are joined together in our call for an end to this human and humanitarian disaster.

As we are meeting here today, the situation inside Aleppo is of catastrophic dimensions in terms of human suffering. The Secretary General and the UN Special Envoy have repeatedly warned the world about the possible destruction of Aleppo and the alarming conditions which prevail in other parts of the country.

Let me take this occasion to reiterate some key messages from the Nordic countries:

• The heavy and indiscriminate attacks inflicting devastation and harm against civilians, hospitals, medical personnel, humanitarian workers and schools must stop.

• Priority must be given by all sides to protecting civilians and facilitating humanitarian relief.

• All violations of international humanitarian law and human rights must be brought to an end and those responsible must be held accountable. This includes attacks using chemical weapons as confirmed by the Joint Investigative Mechanism.

• Syria is obliged under international humanitarian law to give immediate, full, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access to all parts of Syria.

• There can be no lasting solution for Syria without a political solution. We uphold our call for an inclusive and credible political process, in line with Security Council Resolution 2254. This includes making sure that women and civil society remain represented around the table.

Unfortunately, the Security Council has been unable to adequately address the crisis in Syria. The resolutions adopted have not been complied with.

The Nordic countries repeat their calls on the Security Council to live up to its responsibility to maintain international peace and security. This includes addressing with the necessary resolve the humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes, particularly in Aleppo. We deeply regret that the Security Council was unable to adopt a resolution earlier this week.

We remain hopeful that the broad, international resolve shown by this resolution, will bring actual results for the people of Syria. We will certainly do our part toward that end.