General Assembly: Statement by Ambassador Berger on Syria
(General Assembly: Statement as delivered by Ambassador Berger on Syria)
Germany aligns herself with the statement which is going to be read later by the Representative of the European Union.
I would like to thank the Secretary General for his remarks. It is with great regret that we have learnt of the Joint Special Envoy’s resignation. We are grateful to him for the excellent work he has done in order to find a diplomatic solution to this conflict.
His decision comes at a critical juncture. We understand and share the frustration that the Six-Point-Plan conceived by him and endorsed by the Security Council was not implemented due to the intransigence of the Syrian government which has consistently failed to implement its obligations under resolutions 2042 and 2043.
We would also like to thank the Chair of the Arab Group, Ambassador al-Mouallimi for presenting today’s resolution, which we fully endorse.
It comes at a moment when the Security Council, due to three double vetos, has not been able to live up to its responsibility and agree on measures to ensure compliance with its own decisions.
This resolution sends two clear messages: A message of support to the Syrian people in their suffering and struggle and their hope for a free and peaceful future. And a message to the Syrian regime that the international community does not and will not accept the war Assad wages against his own population.
The Syrian government, whose duty it is to protect its citizens, has for over 15 months led an all-out repression, by shooting at peaceful demonstrators, conducting systematic campaigns of arbitrary detention and torture, and indiscriminately shelling residential areas of major cities – Homs, Damascus, Aleppo – with heavy weapons and even fighter jets.
The opposition, which stands up against the dictatorship bears responsibilities, too, and those who control areas are responsible for stopping possible acts of revenge and violence against unarmed people. Nevertheless, ‘balancing’ these two unequal sides would mean turning reality upside down.
One of the main points of the resolution concerns chemical weapons. We condemn the threat by the regime to use these weapons in breach of international law and morality. We make an earnest call on all relevant forces in Syria to secure these weapons and to absolutely refrain from their use or transfer to others.
Germany is deeply worried about the reports of on-going severe human rights violations in Syria, especially against women and children. Accountability of those who violate and abuse human rights must be ensured. The primary responsibility to uphold human rights lies with the government. In areas, over which the opposition exercises effective control, it is incumbent upon their forces to respect international humanitarian law.
All parties to the conflict must ensure safe and unhindered access for providers of humanitarian assistance. Germany commends Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq for their support to the more than 120.000 refugees. That is why we have increased our humanitarian aid to 11.5 million euros.
The situation in Syria has reached a turning point. It is now urgent to work towards a political transition that will silence the weapons and will give Syrians the opportunity to determine their own future. The blueprint for this transition is contained in the Annan Plan and the Geneva communiqué.
Such a transition has a chance to succeed only if Assad steps aside, opening the way for an interim government. In this context it is also of utmost importance that the opposition follows through on the decisions of the 3 July Cairo meeting and finds a unified voice.
there is not the shadow of a doubt: One day there will be a new Syria . Whether this day will be tomorrow or in weeks or months: It will come. Together with the Syrian people we should work for a democratic Syria, with religious freedom and where the rights of minorities are respected.
Thank you, Mr President.