New York

14 March 2020

Statement Attributable to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria on the Anniversary of the Syrian Conflict

Note to correspondents

The Syrian conflict is now entering its tenth year. The suffering of the Syrian people during this tragic and terrible decade still defies comprehension and belief. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians, men and women, have lost their lives. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, abducted or are missing. Human rights abuses, crimes, destruction and destitution have taken place on a monumental scale. Half the population has fled their homes. And with close to a million people newly displaced due to heavy violence in the past three months in the Idlib area alone, the tragedy is deepening.

The fate of the Syrian people is precariously and inevitably linked to the broader region and the international community. The horrific and enduring nature of the conflict is proof of a collective failure of diplomacy. Unprecedented levels of diplomatic cooperation and fortitude are needed to bring an end to this conflict. The parties must meaningfully engage in negotiations. The international community must demonstrate a renewed sense of urgency in supporting the Syrians in finding a UN-facilitated political solution as set out in Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) – the only framework that enjoys legitimacy and support of the entire international community.

The suffering of Syrians is catastrophic and must end. The unity of all in the international community must coalesce toward the fulfillment of all Syrians’ legitimate aspirations. We must choose peace.