Kuwait City

30 January 2013

Secretary-General's closing remarks to Pledging Conference on Syria

I thank the Emir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, for hosting this important event and for his generous and inspiring pledge of $300 million for the humanitarian response.

Today, under the leadership of the Emir of Kuwait, the international community has come together in solidarity with the people of Syria.             

I am pleased to report to you that we have exceeded our target. Congratulations – this is for the Syrian people.

More than $1.5 billion in additional money has been pledged from countries and regional organizations to support the Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan and the Refugee Response Plan over the next six months. This is the largest response ever to a humanitarian pledging conference. And I thank you for your generous contributions. The exact amount is now being calculated.

We have brought a message of hope to the millions of Syrians who have been affected by this terrible crisis.

The United Nations will ensure that we use these funds effectively to meet the urgent lifesaving needs of the Syrian people.

To be effective, the aid must be delivered in a coherent and coordinated way. That is why the appeals presented today are so important. They provide a framework for action.

Thanks to your contributions, humanitarian agencies and their partners will be able to reach more people, both inside and outside Syria, with life-saving aid.

They will be able to feed and clothe more children who are living in tents and abandoned buildings …  provide more drinking water to those camping in schools and office blocks …  and enable more of the sick and injured to receive the medical treatment they so urgently need.

We can never give back what they lost.

But we can and must provide our support and give the Syrian people hope for a better future.

That is why we are here and I thank you very much again.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I want to thank the international community once again for coming forward with pledges that will make a real difference in answering their plight.

Today, we have seen global solidarity in action.

I thank the distinguished Heads of States, Governments and Ministers, and all participating Member States for their participation and for contributing to today’s successful outcome.

I thank the Secretaries-General of the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] and the EU Commissioner for their engagement and solidarity.

I thank the humanitarian agencies, the non-governmental organizations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for your heroic work. And I am grateful to my Humanitarian Envoy for Kuwait, Mr. Abdullah Al Matouq, for building partnerships here and around the region, and for mobilizing $184 million to support the humanitarian needs of those affected by the crisis.

Today is a beginning, not an end.

We must be there for the people of Syria while we keep pressing for a political solution to the crisis.

We must not let the people of Syria down.

I thank you very much again for your leadership and your commitment for peace and stability and prosperity in Syria and in the region. I thank you very much again. Shukran jazeelan.