On February 22, 2017, the Kazakh delegation took part in a regular session of the UN Security Council, dedicated to the humanitarian situation in Syria.
The participants listened to a briefing by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O’Brien.
Mr O’Brien briefed the Security Council about the plight of many Syrians, especially women, children and other vulnerable groups, as well as about the catastrophic shortage of medicines in the country. He spoke about the difficult situation in Syrian cities, some of which have been under blockade for up to six years.
All participants noted that only a peaceful solution exists to the Syrian conflict. Members of the Security Council mentioned the Astana Peace Process, in particular the recent meeting on February 15-16, emphasizing the active role and efforts of Kazakhstan in strengthening the cessation of hostilities in Syria.
Kazakhstan’s delegation commended the activities carried out in Syria by humanitarian and medical workers of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, headed by Mr O’Brien, who work in difficult conditions, risking their lives.
It was stressed that the negotiation process is the only viable way out of this situation and should be continued. It was noted that the Astana Process is a promising platform for the promotion of efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria and complements, in a sound manner, the intra-Syrian Geneva talks under the auspices of the UN.
Kazakhstan urged the parties to the conflict to immediately stop the blockade of cities for military objectives, which causes untold suffering to the civilian population. The Kazakh delegation also appealed to the international community to provide assistance to the UN humanitarian agencies for safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to cities in need.
Moreover, Kazakh diplomats condemned the destruction by DAESH of water sources, social infrastructure, bridges, roads and hospitals in the cities of Al-Raqqah and Al-Bab. Furthermore, special attention was paid to the necessity to take strict measures against terrorist groups responsible for casualties and torture and to prosecute its members in accordance with international law and to hold them accountable for their crimes.