Remarks delivered by Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the High-level discussion on “10th Anniversary of the Syrian Revolution: Access and Exile Invitation” —
Thank you, Madame Chair,
Let me say, first off, that I listened very carefully and with great respect and with full solidarity to the powerful interventions of today’s briefers.
I think they reminded us that ten long years that have passed since the beginning of the of Syrian crisis have been marked by unimaginable levels of suffering and destruction that has contemplated all kind of crimes, raping, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, massive displacements, and gross human rights and humanitarian law violations. Those are all crimes for which perpetrators must be held accountable and duly prosecuted by making use of all existing instruments and mechanisms because the fight against impunity is a matter of principle in justice, in first place, and it must also be an inherent part of any reconciliation process, especially in the Syrian society that has been torn apart by years of conflict.
The necessary steps to end the conflict are clear, although their implementation remains indeed a challenge: those are a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process, facilitated by the UN and in line with the criteria set out in the UN Resolution 2254 and that implies:
o A nation-wide “solid” ceasefire.
o Free and fair elections open to the diaspora.
o Release of the detainees and political prisoners
o A safe and dignified return for refugees to their homes.
Let me say regarding specifically to the upcoming presidential elections that they do not comply with the concepts of freedom and fairness and therefore they cannot be the basis for a re-legitimation of the Assad regime in any way.
Any political and institutional process needs the participation of all Syrians including the diaspora and the displaced.
In order to advance the difficult implementation of Resolution 2254, Italy will continue to support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen. We listened carefully to his latest briefing in the Security Council and we look forward to a clear commitment from all the stakeholders to making real progresses towards the common goal of peace and stabilization.
Italy will continue to give its contribution, standing by the Syrian people and working also with civil society and international organizations to provide relief and life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable and in this spirit, we look forward to the fifth Brussels Conference at the end of this month as a timely opportunity to mobilize further financial support to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people in Syria and also in the region.
At the same time, I also want to say that it is imperative that the regime and its supporters not only engage seriously in the political process but also allow humanitarian assistance to reach the communities in need.
It is also crucial, as it has already been said by other colleagues, to guarantee an unhindered aid access to all possible routes including to the renewal to Resolution 2533 and cross-border mechanism by UN Security Council.
Let me say in conclusion, sustainable peace and security in Syria can only be achieved of course by a genuine, inclusive and comprehensive Syrian-led political solution and the Syrian people, especially at this moment after ten years of conflict and suffering, need to feel more than ever that the international community is ready to take action to put an end to their plight and Italy will certainly continue to stand by their side.
I thank you.