The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Vitaly Churkin (Russian Federation):
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the widely reported attacks on a school complex in Haas village, Idlib governorate, on 26 October, which killed at least 22 children and teachers, and on a school in the western part of Aleppo on 28 October, which killed a number of children, and called for impartial investigations. The members of the Security Council expressed outrage at all attacks against civilians and civilian objects, and indiscriminate attacks throughout Syria.
The members of the Security Council recalled that all obligations under international humanitarian law must be respected in all circumstances by all parties. They recalled, in particular, the obligation to distinguish between civilian populations and combatants and the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks and attacks against civilians and civilian objects.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the primary responsibility of the Syrian authorities to protect the population in Syria and reiterated that parties to the armed conflict may not make civilians the object of attack or use them as human shields. Members of the Council call on all parties to take measures to avoid harm to civilians.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process with a view to the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 as endorsed by resolution 2118 (2013), as well as the full implementation of resolutions 2254 (2015) and 2268 (2016). In that respect, they expressed their full support for the role and efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Staffan de Mistura, and welcomed ongoing efforts to address the situation in Aleppo.