A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (11 January) on the successful extension of the UN Security Council’s cross-border resolution:
We are relieved that the resolution on cross-border humanitarian assistance for Syria has been extended today, shortly prior to its expiry. Millions of people in need in Syria will thus retain access to life-saving assistance. Humanitarian assistance across the border with Turkey to the region of Idlib will now continue to be provided, and the Secretary-General has been tasked with assessing further suitable border crossings.
As co‑sponsors, we fought hard together with Belgium in difficult negotiations in order to achieve this result. We were guided solely by humanitarian considerations in our efforts – and, in the end, we proposed a compromise that was very difficult also for us. Our objective was to prevent the cross-border mechanism from being phased out. The fact that the Security Council was able in the end to agree to our proposed compromise is good news for millions of Syrians.
The resolution adopted by the UN Security Council yesterday has authorised the use of two border crossings for a further six months. In addition, the UN Secretary-General has been tasked, by the end of February, with identifying further suitable border crossings that can be used to provide humanitarian assistance in an effective manner. For around 2.7 million people in northwestern Syria, cross-border supplies are the only way to receive humanitarian assistance as the Syrian regime continues to refuse to authorise aid supplies from Damascus. In particular, the food aid that the World Food Programme provides for around 1.1 million people in Idlib, including over 300,000 people who were displaced once again as a result of hostilities in December, would have come to a complete standstill.