Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Philip Parham, Chargé D’Affaires of the UK Permanent Mission to the UN, following the adoption of resolution 1994
Thank you, Mr President
We voted in support of resolution this today as the United Kingdom welcomes UNDOF’s efforts to maintain stability within its area of operation. It continues to play a valuable and effective role.
We must, however, find a lasting solution to the situation. This requires the co-operation of both parties. We therefore urge Syria and Israel to resume peace negotiations aimed at a comprehensive peace agreement, in accordance with the Madrid Conference “terms of reference for peace”.
The United Kingdom is gravely concerned by the ongoing violence in Syria, and the clear threat to regional peace and stability that this presents. In particular, in this context, we deplore the loss of life that occurred in UNDOF’s area of operations on 15 May and 5 June. We hope that the circumstances which led to these tragic events, including the role of the Syrian government, will be investigated thoroughly. We urge both parties to show restraint and to refrain from provocations so as to prevent an escalation of tensions along the ceasefire line.
We are also concerned at the Secretary-General’s finding that anti-government demonstrations in Syria have spread to the area of limitation on the Syrian side. We have repeatedly urged the Syrian Government to halt the violence, to respond constructively to the legitimate demands of the Syrian people, and to implement meaningful reforms. They have not done so. Instead, they have met legitimate damands for reform with brute force in which an estimated 1400 people have died in the last 3 months. This is completely unacceptable.
We are very concerned that the Syrian Government continues to obstruct UN attempts to help alleviate the crisis and bring assistance to Syrian people. President Bashar refuses to accept phone calls from the Secretary-General. His regime has barred access to humanitarian organisations. The Human Rights Council-mandated fact-finding mission has been refused permission to enter the country and carry out its work. The government’s actions are causing increasing numbers of Syrian refugees to flood over the borders into Turkey and Lebanon.
If we genuinely want to see an end to the violence, this Council should send a clear message, underlining our collective concern. The United Kingdom will therefore continue to press for a Security Council resolution on the wider situation in Syria.
Thank you, Mr President.