Alla: Counterterrorism is the key to stopping escalation of human suffering

Geneva, SANA – Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Hussam Eddin Alla Syrian people are contending with an unprecedented form of terrorism that targets them on daily basis.

Delivering the Syrian Arab Republic’s statement at a session for the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Friday, Alla said that Syrians are facing terrorist bombings in crowded residential areas like the recent bombings in Homs, and rocket attacks that target homes and schools like the recent attacks in Aleppo and Damascus.

He said that these attacks are accompanied by massacres like the one committed in Qalb Lozeh village in Idleb countryside, where Jabhet a-Nusra slaughtered 40 civilians, most of them women and children, the Eshtabraq village massacre in the same province where ISIS killed and abducted more than 200 civilians, and the Palmyra massacre that claimed the life of 400 civilians.

Alla said that the terrorist groups committing these atrocities in Syria are being supported, encouraged, armed, funded, and trained by certain states that also facilitate the smuggling of terrorists into Syria, asserting that terrorism is the main cause of human suffering in Syria, and any discussion on how to end suffering will be useless without admitting that counterterrorism is the key to stopping the escalation of human suffering in countries witnessing terrorist activities.

He stressed that the Syrian government is working hard to fight terrorism and provide citizens’ needs and send relief to them in all areas without discrimination in cooperation with international and local sides, all while terrorists continue to target Syria’s infrastructure and state establishment in a methodical attempt to deprive Syrians of water, electricity, fuel, food, health services, and education.

Alla noted that Syria cooperated with UN humanitarian organizations and other partners like the International Committee of the Red Cross in relief efforts, saying that despite disinformation and politicization shown by some OCHA officials, the Syrian government’s cooperation with international organizations helps ensure that aid reaches over 4 million Syrians per month, adding that funding for response plans for 2015 hasn’t exceeded 20% of the needed funds.

He went on to say that some UN officials have strayed from the framework established by the General Assembly resolution 46/182, and this calls for stressing the need for UN humanitarian agencies to comply with the principles regulating their work as per the resolution, which include respecting states’ sovereignty.

Syria’s Representative said that there have been unprecedented disinformation and politicization attempts regarding the humanitarian issue in Syria that sought to involve the Security Council and resorted to confrontation rather than cooperation, stripping any humanitarian nature from these attempts in a bid to vilify the Syrian government while evading the true challenges of humanitarian work.

He said that the OCHA’s manner of implementing Security Council resolutions raises many questions due to the lack of transparency regarding how aid is brought through the borders and the lack of any guarantees that aid is delivered to civilians who need it, voicing hope that the OCHA will address these concerns in the near future.

Alla said that this behavior has regrettably allowed some neighboring countries, particularly Turkey, to exploit the unofficial border crossing points used by the UN to deliver aid and use them to smuggle weapons and foreign terrorists into Syria under the umbrella of humanitarian aid, noting that Turkish mass media has exposed many scandalous facts in this regard.

He pointed out to the contradiction that borders on hypocrisy between the claims of committing to supporting humanitarian efforts and the constant escalation of the situation in Syria and increasing the suffering of Syrians by imposing unilateral economic sanctions that punish them for supporting their legitimate government.

Syria’s representative said that it’s regrettable that the Secretary-General’s report didn’t mention the effects of the unilateral sanctions which violate the UN charter and international law, adding that the Syrian government hopes that this meeting will be a chance to redirect humanitarian work in the right direction towards impartiality, integrity and independence and away from selectiveness and politicization.

Hazem Sabbagh

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