Your Excellency Senator John Kerry
United States Secretary of State,
Your Excellencies Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
I wish to thank the Secretary-General for his briefing. We are of the view that by bringing the Vienna ISSG process to New York, non-participating Council members are able to substantively engage on issues concerning the situation in Syria. This is an important step in ensuring and cementing Council’s unity of purpose and vision on the way forward for Syria and we would have preferred to have more time for consultations.
2. That the international community has a strong desire to see an end to the conflict in Syria cannot be doubted.
3. The cost in terms of human lives and destruction of property of the Syrian conflict to date is simply staggering. Such suffering and misery must end now. It is for this primary reason that Malaysia joined consensus on resolution 2254.
4. We support resolution 2254’s aim of building upon the vision and principles of the Geneva Communiqué and the Vienna Statements; embodying the collective will of the international community to bring about a peaceful and sustainable resolution to the Syrian conflict. In this context, my delegation expresses deep appreciation to Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura for his untiring facilitation which we fully support.
5. Now in its fifth year, the Syrian conflict continues to be a litany of horrific human rights abuses and violations and most notoriously, for violations of international humanitarian law through use of toxic chemicals as weapons and indiscriminate attacks against civilians perpetrated by parties to the conflict.
6. The Syrian people are tormented further by Da’esh, Al Nusra Front and other terrorist groups and violent extremists, exacerbated by the unprecedented influx of foreign terrorist fighters.
7. The Syrian government must accept that it has the primary responsibility and obligation to protect its own people in accordance with established international law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
8. We reaffirm the demand on all parties to cease all indiscriminate attacks against civilians and to cease targeted attacks on civilian infrastructure. We reaffirm condemnation of continued use of barrel bombs, aerial bombings and artillery shelling against civilians.
9. At the same time, Malaysia remains deeply concerned that despite the clear demand for cooperation stipulated in resolutions 2139, 2165 and 2191, delivery of humanitarian assistance remains a huge problem. All parties to the conflict, particularly the Syrian authorities must do more to demonstrate full and effective compliance with those resolutions.
10. Only through the peaceful resolution of the conflict could the dire and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria begin to be meaningfully addressed, making it all the more urgent.
11. On this note, Malaysia acknowledges the role of Syria’s neighbours particularly Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey for their steadfast resilience and for their hospitality in sheltering and caring for the millions fleeing the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, despite facing enormous capacity and resource constraints.
12. A fundamental element of any proposed peace process must include the implementation of a nationwide ceasefire. We are pleased that this requirement, including modalities for implementation, is explicitly outlined in 2254.
13. The preservation of Syria’s unity, independence, territorial integrity and secular character are key factors in ensuring acceptance of any proposed political process or plan by the Syrian people. No amount of encouragement, persuasion or pressure would be effective without the political buy-in of the Syrian people.
14. In this connection, we call upon the Syrian government representatives and representatives of the opposition to spare no effort to ensure that the proposed talks shall take place in early January 2016.
15. While noting that there are a number of contentious issues that have yet to be addressed or agreed upon, we nevertheless call on all parties to continue to dialogue constructively and further narrow down differences with a view to finding mutually acceptable solutions towards ending the conflict.
16. In concluding, my delegation reiterates that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict. The future of Syria must be determined through an inclusive Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process. The Syrian government, the opposition parties and the Syrian people cannot afford to let this opportunity pass.
17. We believe that this Council has an obligation to support initiatives such as the ISSG or any other initiative which seeks to resolve the conflict in Syria through peaceful means. In this regard, we look forward to the full and effective implementation of resolution 2254 by all concerned parties.
I thank you, Mr. President.