1. My delegation welcomes First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dačić, and Ambassador Vlora Çitaku of Kosovo, back to New York, and thank them both for their statements.
2. We are also grateful to Special Representative Zahir Tanin for his comprehensive briefing.
3. Listening to the statements today, I wish to call on both sides to focus on the way forward. Priority should be given in implementing outstanding commitments, in the spirit of dialogue, cooperation and constructive engagement, rather than engaging in a blame-game, which will not help to build confidence and trust between the two sides.
4. We appreciate the assurances given by Belgrade and Pristina to remain committed to the EU-facilitated dialogue and we hope to see the intensification of efforts towards implementing existing agreements.
5. As elaborated by Mr. Tanin today, and the Secretary-General in his latest report, I share their concerns on the violent protests by the oppositions and their supporters in Kosovo, who are against the August 2015 package of agreements between Belgrade and Pristina, and the territorial delineation agreement with Montenegro.
6. We call on the relevant parties in Kosovo to cease violence and inflammatory rhetoric and to resolve their differences through legitimate channels, via dialogue and engagement.
7. The Kosovo Parliament and the rule of law must be respected. Resorting to violence and intimidation will not bring the parties any closer to their political aims. Instead, it may delegitimise their struggle and derail the democratic progress painstakingly built by Kosovo over the years.
8. We commend the commitment and efforts made by Kosovo leaders to engage in an inclusive dialogue to resolve the issue, and we applaud the competence and restraint shown by the Kosovo police in responding to the violent protests.
9. Malaysia is pleased with the progress made by Kosovo during the reporting period, including the signing and subsequent ratification of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU. We believe it is a key step towards peace, stability and prosperity for Kosovo and the region.
10. We call on the leaders of Kosovo to remain steadfast in implementing the Stabilization and Association Agreement and the necessary socio-economic reforms towards regional integration.
11. We also take note of the developments made in the implementation of the 2013 Brussels Agreement, including the integration of former Serbian civil protection personnel in northern Kosovo into various Kosovo institutions.
12. We hope to see more progress made in the implementation of this landmark agreement, including the integration of the judiciary and the creation of an Association of Serb majority municipalities in Kosovo.
13. The advancement made by Kosovo relating to the establishment of the Specialist Chambers, is yet another step in the right direction. Malaysia reiterates the need to ensure accountability and promote closure and reconciliation for the people of Kosovo.
14. In this regard, we commend the decision by the Kingdom of the Netherlands to host the Specialist Chambers.
15. On the economic front, Malaysia applauds the cooperation between the Belgrade and Pristina Chambers of Commerce during the reporting period. Such collaboration deserves our strong support, as it could open the doors to further commercial opportunities, for the mutual benefits of both sides.
16. Malaysia is gravely concern on the creeping influence of ISIL in the region. We commend the steps taken by the authorities in Kosovo to combat terrorist threats and to address the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters.
17. We simply cannot afford to have terrorist groups manipulating the religious, racial and cultural divide in the region, and in Kosovo in particular, to serve their twisted and violent agenda.
18. We thus, wish to see continued high priority accorded by the Kosovo authorities in combating this global menace. In this regard, Malaysia stands ready to support Kosovo in its fight to combat radicalisation and violent extremism.
19. In concluding, I join my other colleagues in reaffirming support for UNMIK, which continues to play a key role in promoting security, stability and respect for human rights in Kosovo. We also commend the leadership of the Special Representative, and the important role of the OSCE, the Kosovo Force, and the EU towards peace and stability in Kosovo.
I thank you, Mr. President.
I join earlier speakers in thanking you for convening this meetingwhich is a timely opportunity to take stock of ongoing work on reviewing the peacebuilding architecture. I thank you for the informative concept note.
2. I also thank the briefers namely Ambassador Kamau of Kenya; Ambassador Skoog of Sweden; and Ambassador Rosenthal for their respective presentations.
3. As a concurrent member of the Peacebuilding Commission, Malaysia subscribes to a number of points and issues elaborated by the briefers. I wish to further contribute to the discussion with the following points.
4. As stressed by the briefers, 2015 and 2016 are crucial for the peacebuilding agenda, not least in respect of the ongoing P-B-A [Peacebuilding Architecture] review process.
5. I take this opportunity to express support for Angola and Australia in leading the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations on the review outcome.
6. We are confident that the comprehensive, transparent and inclusive approach of the co-chairs would yield an outcome that enjoys the broadest support and consensus among all member states, partners and stakeholders.
7. 2015 saw a significant and positive shift in the PBC’s approach, particularly with regard to its advocacy role.
8. The Commission’s engagement with states not on its formal agenda namely Burkina Faso, Papua New Guinea and Somalia demonstrated that the PBC has the flexibility to engage outside a predetermined scope.
9. It is noteworthy that the Commission was earlier able to adopt a regional approach in supporting UN efforts to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
10. Such engagement indicates that the PBC possesses a latent ability to act in a preventive capacity. It is important that the ongoing review exercise recognises this potential and considers the necessary measures to maintain or strengthen it further.
11. We fully agree with Ambassador Kamau’s observation that in the long-run, investments in preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict are considerably less costly and sustainable when compared to the cost of reacting and responding to crises.
12. In the long term, strengthening the PBC’s preventive capacity and role also contributes to deepening a culture of prevention within the UN system and on the shared, Charter mandated responsibility of sustaining peace.
13. The concurrent reviews of the PBA, of UN peace operations and of resolution 1325 present an opportunity to address the challenge of possible fragementation as well as to promote better synergy, coordination and complementarity in the work of the relevant UN bodies, agencies and mechanisms towards achieving the core objective of promoting and sustaining peace.
14. Across all three review processes runs an underlying thread which is the pursuit of an integrated approach linking development, human rights and security, while fully mindful of the primacy of politics in peacebuilding efforts and peace process.
15. In this context, my delegation wishes to underscore the linkages with and the need for PBA review outcomes to be aligned with the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
16. Eradication of hunger and poverty, economic revitalization and stabilisation, including by increasing the revenue-generating capacity of countries in transition, must count among the core objectives of peacebuilding initiatives. At the same time, we are also supportive of proposals to strengthen participation of women and youth in peacebuilding. Therefore, overall post-conflict peacebuilding efforts should incorporate inclusive approaches and policies involving all stakeholders of conflict-affected countries. We also call for an enhanced coordination and concerted efforts by UN agencies, to address the fragmentation and avoid working in silos, as reflected in the
various reports of the AGE, HIPPO and Resolution 1325.
17. We further believe that there is scope within the review process for recommendations to enhance the PBC’s engagement and collaboration with regional organisations and actors, as well as with I-F-Is [International Financial Institutions], including through more effective partnerships with such actors.
18. In this regard, the conclusions emanating from the Commission’s meeting on transition finance and peacebuilding in Somalia on 2 November 2015 could prove instructive.
19. In recognising the woeful state of funding for peacebuilding initiatives, Malaysia reaffirms support for the A-G-E [Advisory Group of Experts to the PBA Review] recommendation for 1% percent of total contributions to the UN’s PKO and SPM budgets to be allocated to the P-B-F [Peacebuilding Fund], not only as a symbolic gesture but also as seed funding towards ensuring predictable and sustainable funding for future peacebuilding efforts and activities.
20. With a view to “delivering as one”, it is equally important that the relationship between the Commission and the Council be strengthened.
21. Certain proposals on reinforcing Commission’s advisory role to the SC including by increasing formal/informal dialogue, closer engagement with penholders, and closer coordination and planning of forward activities including meetings and field visits with the SC presidency towards ensuring that the Council integrates important peacebuilding objectives in its deliberations, in our view only require procedural tweaks.
In concluding Mr. President,
22. Malaysia believes that the present review process affords us a crucial opportunity to improve the mandate and functioning of the PBC which is a unique entity with enormous potentials.
23. The PBA review must position the PBC so that it is better able to leverage on strengths such as its advocacy and convening roles towards promoting and sustaining peace, not only in post-conflict scenarios but also in a preventative capacity.
24. As such, we are hopeful that the review’s outcome could be adopted in a timely manner with a view to enhancing the PBC’s work, including on its relations with the Council.
I thank you, Mr. President.
Thank you, Madam President,
I join earlier speakers in welcoming you to the Council and in thanking the delegation of Venezuela for convening this debate. I wish to also acknowledge the presence of high-level representatives of Angola and Spain. My delegation associates itself with the statement to be delivered by Iran on behalf of NAM.
2. We are also pleased to have His Excellency Mr. Ban ki-Moon, the Secretary-General with us. We have listened carefully to his learned views which give us much thought and reflection on this subject.
3. Malaysia firmly believes that all member states must remain united in our collective resolve to uphold and respect the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter. Such commitment is especially urgent and crucial in light of the challenges we face in maintaining international peace and security today. Indeed, these seem a world away from the challenges faced at the time when the Charter was first promulgated.
4. Periodic conversation and assessment such as this, focusing on our collective effort in maintaining international peace and security, is decidedly a welcome and useful exercise.
5. In its 70 years of existence, the global multilateral system underpinned by the UN has paved the way for great strides by member states in fields such as socioeconomic development, poverty eradication, promotion & protection of human rights, countering terrorism and violent extremism, and in addressing environmental concerns, among others.
6. However, the evolving nature of threats and non-traditional security challenges faced by the UN and particularly this Council today threaten to undermine much of the gains achieved. Today, the prospects of such threats and conflicts spilling over well beyond local or domestic contexts is all too real.
7. The threat posed by the Ebola and Zika viruses, the scourge of terrorism, the heinous crime of migrant trafficking and smuggling, and the massive displacement of whole populations fleeing conflict are among the key challenges that the international community today have to confront with.
8. At the same time, challenges of a more traditional nature still remain. The nuclear test detonation and ballistic satellite launch by the DPRK just some days ago, shocked not just the Northeast Asian region, but the entire world.
9. We recall that upon its admission to the UN on 17 September 1991, the DPRK delegation led by First Deputy Foreign Minister Kang Sok Ju stated, I quote:“….the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as a State Member of the United Nations, will remain faithful to the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter….” – end quote.
10. It is our fervent hope that the DPRK renews and honours such expressed commitment. We hope that the DPRK would positively consider returning to peaceful negotiations with a view to ensuring peace, security and stability in the Korean Peninsula and beyond.
11. Since it's very existence, the UN has contended with the question of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people for their self-determination.
12. To date, the Security Council’s approach on this issue stands out as an example of selective inaction in implementing the purposes and principles of the Charter.
13. As long as the situation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories remains unresolved, the UN will continue to be seen as lacking the necessary political will to uphold the Charter; or at the very least, stands accused of selectively applying it.
14. In this context, this Council bears a significant responsibility. It cannot continuously be oblivious to the haunting cries of the Palestinians subjugated to increasing dehumanization policies.
15. The longer self-determination, human rights and the rule of law are denied to the Palestinians, the further we are collectively guilty from fully respecting and upholding the Charter.
16. Failure to resolve the Palestine-Israel conflict exacerbates radicalism and fuels violent extremism; the consequences of which are plain for all to see in the increasingly frequent terrorist attacks targeting civilians, including in capitals around the world.
17. I wish to recall the words of former SRSG Mohamed Sahnoun on Somalia, who in 1992 observed: “When you drop a vase and it breaks into 3 pieces, you take the pieces and put it back together. What do you do when the vase shatters into a thousand pieces?” – end quote.
18. Fast forward nearly a quarter century later, such words also aptly describes the conflagration in Syria which threatens to not only consume itself, but possibly even its neighbours, should it deteriorate further.
19. In welcoming the agreement reached by the ISSG principals in Munich several days ago on a nationwide ceasefire, we call upon all parties to respect and implement the ceasefire without preconditions.
20. Pending the ceasefire, we further call on them to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access throughout the country. The Syrian authorities must live up to its international obligations and demonstrate its respect for the Charter’s humanitarian imperatives in this regard.
21. At the other end of the Middle East, the outlook for the situation in Yemen seems equally bleak with no end in sight to the acute suffering of the civilian population who are besieged on all sides. We call on the parties to the conflict to reinvigorate efforts to resume negotiations for a peaceful settlement to the conflict.
22. Over in Africa, Malaysia is encouraged by among others, the steady progress in Somalia supported by its international partners in progressively restoring normalcy to the country. We are also encouraged by the collective resolve of the countries in the region in making contributing to the MNJTF aimed at countering Boko Haram.
23. The collective actions of those countries, coupled with the support of the international community stand out as an affirmation of Charter principles including those laid down in Chapter VIII.
24. In concluding, I wish to underscore Malaysia’s firm belief that the Charter is a living document. We, the member states, breathe life into it through our collective and ongoing efforts to respect and uphold its purposes and principles. We must continue to live by its ideals.
I thank you, Madam President.
Thank you, Mr. President,
I join earlier speakers in thanking you for convening this debate which we consider pertinent and timely. We also thank you for the helpful concept note which provides a useful guide for our discussion today.
2. We are also pleased to have Ambassador Carlos Holguin of Chile and Ambassador Olof Skoog of Sweden joining us today. We have listened to their respective briefings very carefully and with much interest. They have certainly brought much insight to the topic at hand.
3. We also appreciate the Presidency reaching out to States affected by sanctions for the purposes of the debate today. In this connection, we welcome the participation of the delegations of Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Iran, Libya and Sudan and CAR. We believe their participation could afford a broader perspective to the discussion.
4. Malaysia takes this opportunity to reaffirm the longstanding position of the Non Aligned Movement that application of sanctions by the United Nations as authorised by this Council must be fully in accordance with the provisions stipulated in the Charter, and then only as a measure of last resort.
5. Given that the bulk of Council’s subsidiary bodies are the sanctions committees which undertake important functions including implementation, implementation monitoring and assessment of the various sanctions regime, we support the Presidency’s focus on this theme, with the aim of making the work of such committees more streamlined, coordinated, and effective.
6. Since much ground has been covered by earlier speakers, I wish to focus my intervention on Malaysia’s experiences as Chair of two subsidiary bodies, namely the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and the 1970 Committee on Libya sanctions to contribute to the discussion.
7. At the outset, Malaysia wishes to acknowledge and express appreciation to the preceding Chairs of the CAAC working group. They have built a solid foundation for the promotion and protection of the CAAC agenda in the Council which has allowed us, as the current Chair of the working group continue emphasising the centrality of the CAAC agenda as a key component of the larger protection of civilians agenda in the Council.
8. Malaysia assumed chairmanship of the CAAC working group with keen interest to ensure the buy-in and co-ownership of concerned countries. To this end, we sought to introduce certain innovations such as reflecting the views of the concerned states – in toto – to the working group’s conclusions or outcome report.
9. We firmly believe that such measure contributes to the overall outcome whereby interested partners are afforded easy access to the views of all concerned parties on any given situation. We are grateful that the introduction of this measure has been supported and accepted by all Council members.
10. Another aspect of innovation in the work of the CAAC WG relates to better coordination and cooperation between the working group with other sanctions committees. Given the cross cutting themes addressed under the working group and the sanctions committees, we had in 2015 worked with Lithuania to hold joint meetings between the CAAC WG and the 2140 and 2127 committees.
11. We believe that such joint meetings affords a wider perspective to both the working group members and sanctions committee members, which is an important exercise particularly when assessment has to be made on the effectiveness of the sanctions regime, including on possible unintended consequences, particularly on children but also more generally, on civilians in conflict situations.
12. With regard to our work as Chair of the 1970 Committee, we share much of the views expressed by earlier speakers who spoke on their role as chairs of sanctions committees. That said, we would emphasise the role of the Chair in undertaking outreach activities, including the dissemination of information on the work of the sanctions committee to as wide an audience as possible. Greater understanding on the workings of the committees could support better and more effective implementation.
13. On this note, we also see scope for better coordination among Chairs of the subsidiary organs of the UNSC, especially those with related themes or geographical scope.
14. In terms of transparency and inclusivity of the work of Council’s subsidiary bodies, we share the view that such principles must apply from the very start of the process, including on the appointment and selection process.
15. This year presents an excellent opportunity to revisit these and other procedural aspects concerning the selection and appointment issue, given that the General Assembly will be electing non-permanent members of the Security Council in June. The lead time afforded for delegation successfully elected to the Council should also be taken to adequately prepare them for their eventual role as Chairs of the various subsidiary bodies.
16. In this regard, Malaysia supports the proposal for consultations on Chairs to start as soon as possible to allow time for sufficient preparations, with the full involvement of the newly elected members, taking into account their views and preferences, if any. Improving the transparency of the selection and appointment process for chairs of subsidiary bodies would greatly improve the legitimacy of the process, particularly in the eyes of the elected members.
17. On transparency in general, Malaysia welcomes the proposals calling for more open briefings on the work of sanctions committees to the wider membership. That said, we are equally mindful of the fine balance between transparency and confidentiality.
18. In concluding, we wish to express appreciation to the Presidency for initiating the draft Note on the working methods of the subsidiary bodies and we look forward to engaging constructively with all Council members on it.
19. Moving forward, we support proposals concerning burden sharing among all Council members on chairing the subsidiary bodies. Additionally, we are also open to consider reviving the 2000-2006 Informal Working Group to review and improve the effectiveness of sanctions committees.
I thank you, Mr. President.
His Excellency Mr. Rodolfo Nin Novoa,
Foreign Minister of Uruguay and President of the Security Council,
2. On behalf of my delegation, I warmly welcome Your Excellency to the Council and I thank you for chairing this meeting.
3. We highly value your presence, and the high-level representations today from Senegal, Ukraine, and Angola. Your participation in this Open Debate provides prominence to the topic that has long been marginalised at the Council.
4. We are appreciative of the briefing by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and we acknowledge the clear message of the Secretary-General on the unsustainable situation in Occupied Palestine.
5. Malaysia also associates itself with the statements to be delivered by Iran and Kuwait on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and the OIC respectively.
6. For the purpose of today’s meeting, I wish to focus my statement on the plight of Palestinian children, and on the issue of illegal settlements.
7. Since the start of the latest wave of violence last October, children consisted of almost a quarter of the total Palestinian casualties. According to UNICEF, in last month alone, nine Palestinian children were killed and more than 205 were injured by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In comparison, UNICEF reported no Israeli child fatalities or injuries during the same period.
8. The intention to cause maximum casualties was evident, as Palestinian civilians, including children, were deliberately shot with live ammunition or rubber-coated bullets by Israeli forces. In some cases, they were denied medical treatment and left to suffer agonising death.
9. The indiscriminate and disproportionate approach of the Occupying Power towards Palestinian civilians was captured in a horrifying video last October. In the video, an Israeli military vehicle entered the Palestinian Aida refugee camps and an Israeli soldier threatened over a loud speaker, and I quote: “As long as you throw stones, go home or we will gas you, we will gas you until you die.. The children, the youth, the old people, you will all die.. We won’t leave any of you alive.”
10. Arbitrary arrests and detentions of Palestinian children also continued. Since last September, close to 400 Palestinian children have been arrested or detained by Israeli forces. Many of these children have been violently seized from their homes at night, beaten, blindfolded, strip-searched, interrogated without legal counsel, held in incommunicado from their parents, and placed in solitary confinement.
11. Even schools were not spared from attacks. Last November, over 70 Palestinian school children suffered from tear gas inhalation as Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and sprayed skunk water at a school in Hebron.
12. The illegal practice of brutally executed collective punishment also persisted, as Israeli forces demolished the homes of Palestinians, rendering Palestinian families, including children, homeless and in destitution.
13. Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, health care professionals at the Gaza Community Mental Health Program reported a sharp increase in the number of children with post-traumatic stress disorder, except that in Gaza, there is no such thing as “post”. The traumatic stress disorder has sadly become a daily reality.
14. Even after the July 2014 Israeli disproportionate aggression in Gaza, Palestinians continued to suffer under repressive Israeli occupation and inhumane blockade. Children in Gaza who were once top students and cheerful, suffered from psychological trauma and now became aggressive, withdrawn, and had persistent nightmares and terrified of loud noises.
15. Bearing in mind all the illegal Israeli practices against children, in violation of international law, we must search our conscience and ask ourselves: What kind of future have we shaped for the Palestinian children, who grew up knowing only injustice, oppression, anger, and violence throughout their life?
16. Clearly, the lack of accountability for Israel, including on the issue of the protection of children, has emboldened it to commit further violations with impunity. With our continuing inaction, we run the risk of igniting a ticking time bomb, with grave repercussions for the region and the world.
17. Last year was yet another lost opportunity for the Council to make progress on the Palestinian question. Despite promising initiatives by some Council members, in the end, we were back to square one - dashing dreams and hopes of those who suffered far too long that their miseries had once again been ignored.
18. We were told to wait. And while we complied and waited, Israel insatiable appetite for land grabbing, seized even more lands from the Palestinians, snubbing the two-state solution. Just last week, the Israeli government declared 370 acres of land in occupied West Bank as “state land”, effectively confiscating more Palestinian land and robbing the Palestinians of their future.
19. This month alone, the Israeli authorities continued to demolish housing structures belonging to Palestinian Bedouins in the Occupied East Jerusalem, rendering over 40 Palestinians homeless, half of them children. The forced displacement was part of the Israeli plan to build illegal settlements in the E1 corridor for thousands of Israeli settlers.
20. The fact these actions are illegal and contrary to international law is without a doubt, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the ICC. Furthermore, the illegal settlements constitute the single most damaging factor that endangers the two-state solution.
21. The Council must stop turning a blind eye to these violations and start holding Israel accountable based on international standard of human rights and international law.
22. We can no longer accept excuses that any action against Israel, even if to uphold international law and human rights standard, is either anti-Semitic, or will jeopardise the possibility for peace talks. Instead, we must expose these excuses for what they are – farcical pretexts to perpetuate the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.
23. In the short term, pending a final and comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian question, we need to seriously consider the option for international protection for the Palestinian people, including children. Such protection, which has numerous precedents at the UN and could constitute a confidence-building measure, would go a long way in ending impunity, and ensuring stability and security in Occupied Palestine and the region.
24. The international community should also pursue all legal, diplomatic and economic channels to step up its pressure on the Israeli government to make it too costly for Israel to continue with its illegal settlement policy.
25. In the long run, we still aspire for a two-state solution – for the states of Israel and Palestine to live side-by-side in peace and security based on the pre-’67 borders.
26. However, the prospect for a peaceful coexistence is diminishing by the day, especially due to Israel’s settlement policy, and our inaction. And if we continue to do nothing, this will feed into the agenda of those who seek to destroy the prospect of the two state-solution. And the two-state solution will eventually become a delusion.
27. The consequences will be grim, not only for the region, but for all humanity. We must not allow ourselves to watch helplessly for this to happen.
I thank you, Mr. President.
I join earlier speakers in thanking ASG (Assistant Secretary-General) Kang for her briefing. It provided a vital update on ongoing efforts to respond to the critical health needs of civilians in the hard to reach and besieged areas in Syria.
2. In deploring the unacceptable human cost of the ongoing conflict, it is simply staggering that more than 400,000 Syrians live under siege conditions, a tool of warfare which harks back to the Middle Ages and which civilised nations and peoples have since rejected.
3. It is unimaginable that in the twenty-first century, parties to the Syrian conflict would resort to such deplorable tactics of besieging cities and starving whole populations, including women and children, as a strategy of war. The employment of this strategy adds another inhumane and horrifying dimension to the Syrian conflict.
4. Earlier this week, we were heartened by the breakthrough made by the UN and its partners in securing safe passage and conduct for humanitarian relief mission to the besieged towns of Madaya, Foah and Kefraya.
5. We call on all parties to ensure that such access will continue to be provided to those towns and we expect that access for humanitarian relief and supplies could be granted to other hard-to-reach areas including those under siege by various parties to the conflict.
6. Malaysia shares the concerns on the plight of the 400 people in immediate need of medical evacuation from Madaya as highlighted by OCHA. They are not mere numbers or statistics but human like us. We urge the relevant authorities to expedite their immediate evacuation. If this is not possible, we would demand that the necessary medical assistance providers be given unimpeded and expedited access to Madaya.
7. In welcoming the lifting of blockade against Madaya, Foah and Kefraya, my delegation stresses that all parties to the conflict have an unequivocal responsibility to protect civilians at all times. The siege and starve strategy which callously devalues human life and violates international laws must not continue.
8. In addition to the daily struggle of surviving the hail of bullets and bombs, the situation of ordinary Syrians including those being besieged is increasingly precarious with the onset of winter.
9. We wish to underscore that there can only be meaningful and sustained improvement to the overall humanitarian situation in Syria through a peacefully negotiated peaceful resolution to the conflict.
10. Malaysia affirms its support for the ISSG-led initiative towards a political resolution to the Syrian conflict as outlined in resolution 2254. In this connection, we call on all relevant parties to participate in the UN-facilitated talks scheduled 25 January 2016, without preconditions. Syria and ordinary Syrians have bled long enough.
To conclude Mr. President,
11. While we are hopeful that the upcoming talks could pave the way for a sustained truce or cessation of hostilities among the various parties, particularly between the Government and opposition forces, the dire humanitarian crisis faced by ordinary Syrian necessitates urgent actions by the international community to ensure the safe passage and conduct of humanitarian assistance, aid and relief to those most in need, especially those in hard-to-reach and besieged areas.
12. We call on States with influence over the parties to the conflict to do their utmost to ensure that the sieges end and that humanitarian aid reaches those in besieged areas.
Thank you, Mr. President.