Your Excellency Mr. John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand
and President of the Security Council for September 2016,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you Mr. President for organising and presiding over Council today. Malaysia believes that this meeting is especially timely and important, in light of the most recent developments in Syria.
2. I take this opportunity to place on record my delegation’s appreciation for New Zealand’s strong leadership - alongside Egypt and Spain - particularly on Council’s efforts to address the humanitarian dimension of the Syrian conflict.
3. My delegation wishes to underscore its deepest appreciation and respect to the unflagging efforts of the United Nations in spearheading the international response to the Syrian crisis.
4. In this connection I thank both the Secretary-General and his Special Envoy, Mr. Staffan de Mistura for their presence and participation today.
5. Malaysia is horrified and outraged by the attacks on the UN-backed humanitarian convoys near Aleppo on Monday night. We strongly condemn the killing of unarmed civilians and humanitarian workers in that incident as yet another flagrant violation of international law, in absolute disrespect and contempt for the values of humanity.
6. Malaysia stands in solidarity with other friends of Syria in helping to alleviate the situation of its citizens, amidst this grim reality. In this regard, we have taken certain steps including making modest, direct financial and in-kind contributions to Syrians in need, especially those at the border areas. We have also committed to take in a number of Syrians fleeing the violence in their homeland and I am pleased to share that this initiative has been implemented.
7. The bloody and protracted conflict in Syria continues to sorely test this Council’s ability to unite around a common approach for a credible and sustainable political solution to the crisis.
8. Since 2011, the conflict has spawned a humanitarian crisis of immense proportions that we are all struggling to contain; as well as provided space and enabling environment for the cancerous growth of terrorism most notably the rise of DA’ESH, whose heinous acts and barbaric atrocities reverberate far across the globe.
9. Against that background, Council must remain resolute and continue to strive for unity and coherence in both its purpose and action in order to effectively discharge the Charter mandated responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. In noting the various formats pursued in seeking to resolve the Syrian conflict, I wish to underscore that the Council can never be sidelined and has a central role to play.
10. At this critical stage and yet, despite some highly publicised setbacks in recent days, the Russia-US package of agreements reached on 9 September represents the latest concrete effort towards first; halting the violence and subsequently, laying the ground for a credible and inclusive political process on the future of Syria.
11. We have also listened very carefully to the views expressed by the Secretary-General and the Special Envoy on a possible power sharing agreement between the conflicting parties. We understand that the primary aim of this proposition is to end hostilities; an aim which we strongly support.
12. As a current member of this Council, Malaysia’s support for the implementation of its decisions on Syria is unwavering, especially those related to the cessation of violence and on the humanitarian situation.
13. Particular attention must be given to the protection of children as the most vulnerable group in any violent conflict. We were shocked to the core by the bombing of a maternity hospital in Idlib, which sent babies crashing to the floor in their incubators.
14. We winced at images of children gasping for their last breath after being attacked with chemical weapons; and we were heartbroken by the sight of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh covered in dust and blood waiting in an ambulance; Aylan Kurdi - as did so many others - perished.
15. Despite the countless horrific incidents of children being bombed, gassed and starved, the conflicting parties in Syria seem to have wilfully jettisoned all reason and humanity; unable to say “enough is enough” to prevent more casualties, especially of children.
16. We strongly demand that the conflicting parties respect international humanitarian law, particularly in providing unfettered humanitarian access, and in protecting civilians and civilian objects, including children, relief or rescue personnel, schools, and hospitals.
17. While the 2012 Geneva Communique remains relevant, Malaysia is of the view that moving the political process forward should be guided by the provisions of Security Council Resolution 2254, taken in parallel with implementation of the 9 September Russia-US arrangement. We call on all interested partners and stakeholders to support the way forward as outlined by Special Envoy de Mistura.
18. Finally, I wish to underscore that Malaysia remains committed to seeking accountability for the various violations and abuses committed in the course of the conflict in Syria. We stand ready to cooperate with all interested partners and we will support initiatives towards this end.
19. I wish to also convey Malaysia’s utmost appreciation and respect to the many UN-system and other humanitarian actors and agencies, toiling untiringly in the field, bringing some measure of hope and dignity to a war ravaged people.
20. We can never hope to repay such a debt; however, it behoves (be-hooves) us to redouble our efforts towards achieving a durable political solution - so that the guns will fall silent and that peace, reconciliation and rebuilding of the Syrian nation could soon commence.
I thank you, Mr. President.