General Assembly: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on the situation in Syria
(General Assembly: Statement as delivered by Ambassador Wittig on the situation in Syria)
Thank you, Mr. President
I wish to thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General al-Arabi, Joint Special Envoy Annan, and Deputy High Commissioner Simonovic for their briefings.
I associate myself with the Statement delivered on behalf of the European Union.
while we are discussing the situation in Syria here in New York, innocent women and children are being massacred on the ground.
We are appalled and shocked by reports about yet another mass killing of innocent civilians, this time in the province of Hama. The ongoing killing is yet another demonstration of the blatant disrespect by President Assad not only for the legitimate aspirations of his own people, but also the demands made by the international community.
Damascus yet again failed to implement the six-point plan - in clear non-compliance with relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council.
The refusal to accept Deputy Joint Special Envoy al-Kidwa to Damascus is a direct challenge to the authority of the UN General Assembly and the Arab League. The UN secretary-General has found clear words on that this morning.
Limited progress on humanitarian access and the release of detainees are overshadowed by the ongoing brutal assault on the Syrian people.
The latest update report by the Commission of Inquiry of the Human Rights Council confirms the gross and systematic human rights violations committed.
The Syrian government has in no way shown the fundamental change in course required to enable a durable cessation of violence and the beginning of a political transition.
If President Assad still thinks he can turn the tide by force, we have to prove him wrong.
We have started a discussion in the Security Council on possible next steps last week. My delegation made some concrete proposals, so have others.
The Human Rights Council in Geneva has condemned with overwhelming majority the government’s role in the al-Houla massacre and called for an investigation by the Commission of Inquiry.
The Arab League has called upon the Council for more robust action to protect the civilians and to impose sanctions against the regime.
All this shows that there is a clear sense of urgency to act.
We are convinced that strong and concerted pressure on Damascus is required now.
We maintain our position that a Chapter VII resolution of the Security Council including sanctions against the regime in Damascus will be the required step forward, especially in the light of joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan's call today for consequences of non-compliance. We have given President Assad the benefit of the doubt for much too long.
We also call for a binding resolution by the Security Council establishing an independant Commission of Inquiry that would ensure that perpetrators of the crimes committed such as in al-Houla will be held accountable.
We also need to redouble our efforts to kick-start the political transition process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.
But one thing is clear: The terms of such a transition cannot be dictated by Assad himself. There can be no future for him in a new post-conflict Syria. A return to the status-quo ante is no option.
allow me to once more applaud Secretaries-General Ban and al-Arabi for their leadership on the issue. I also want to ensure Joint Special Envoy Annan and the Deputy High Commissioner of Germany's full support.