The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño (Venezuela):
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Sayeda Zeinab in the southern suburbs of Damascus, Syria, on 31 January, for which Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) claimed responsibility, during which more than 60 people were killed and more than 100 injured. They expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people of the Syrian Arab Republic. They also wished a speedy recovery to those injured.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed grave concern that ISIL, including foreign terrorist fighters who have joined the group in Syria, groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with ISIL or Al-Qaida continue operating in Syria, and condemned the negative impact of their presence, violent extremist ideology and actions on the stability of Syria, neighbouring countries and the region, with a devastating humanitarian impact on the civilian populations. They stressed that all Member States shall fully comply with their obligations under resolution 2178 (2014).
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality or civilization.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice and stressed that those responsible for these terrorist attacks should be held accountable.
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 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 stressed the need to take measures to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, terrorist organizations and individual terrorists in accordance with resolutions 2199 (2015) and 2253 (2015).
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Syria.
The members of the Security Council expressed their full support for the efforts of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, including his initiative to start negotiations between the parties pursuant to the Geneva communiqué, 30 October and 14 November 2015 International Syria Support Group statements and Security Council resolution 2254 (2015), and they called upon the parties to engage constructively in this process.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their grave distress by the continued deterioration of the devastating humanitarian situation in Syria and reiterated their call on the parties to immediately allow humanitarian agencies rapid, safe and unhindered access throughout Syria by most direct routes, and allow immediate humanitarian assistance to reach all people in need, in particular in all besieged and hard-to-reach areas.