Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Wittig upon adoption of Security Council resolution 2042 (2012) on Syria

Apr 14, 2012

(Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Wittig upon adoption of Security Council resolution 2042 (2012) on Syria)

Thank you Madam President,

This is the first Security Council resolution on Syria since the violent repression by the Syrian security forces started. We welcome the unity of this Council today. It comes deplorably late, but hopefully not too late.

Thanks to the commendable efforts of the Joint Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab Leage, Kofi Annan, the cessation of fighting has by and large held in Syria. However, as we speak, reports come in of renewed attacks by Syrian security forces.

So we must remain vigilant. Too many commitments made by Damascus in the past have not been kept. We must not tolerate any further brinkmanship. The time for delaying tactics is definitely over.

It is clear that the Syrian government has yet to fully comply with its commitments made to the Joint Envoy and as demanded by the Security Council. Damascus has yet to make the fundamental change of course as demanded by Kofi Annan to enable a durable cessation of violence in all its forms. 

Damascus has to immediately halt military forward movements and return troops and heavy weapons to the barracks.  Only when these steps are fully implemented will the conditions for a sustainable cessation of violence be given.   

Equally important, all other forms of violence and human rights violations such as arbitrary detentions, torture, abductions, sexual violence and violence against children must end immediately.

I applaud that the opposition groups have committed to a cessation of fighting – despite having been shelled by government forces until the very last moment.

Madam President,

The swift deployment of the advance observer team will be   an important element for a sustainable cessation of violence. We look forward to the report by the Secretary-General on a potential observer mission next week.

But one thing is clear: The conditions for the deployment of observers must be in place. The Syrian government must ensure that the advance team and the possible follow-on Mission can freely and effectively implement their mandate.

We know too many other examples where UN missions have become a pawn in tactical games. We must not let this happen again. The credibility of the Security Council is at stake. We must send a clear message that any such impediments would come at a high price.

Madam President,

The deployment of an observer mission should also not lead to a mere “freezing” of the situation. A UN Mission on the ground cannot serve as a substitute for the lack of will on the side of the parties. Close and early linkage with a political transition process– as foreseen in the six-point proposal by Mr. Annan- is required, not least as an eventual exit-option for the observers. One more thing: Accountability for the crimes committed must be a central element of the transition process. There cannot be a return to the status quo ante.

In closing, I would like to reiterate our full support to the applaudable efforts of the Joint Envoy and his team.

Thank you.

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