Syria’s 11-year war has come at an ‘unconscionable human cost’: UN Secretary-General
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres marked the 11th anniversary of the outbreak of the Syrian conflict by lamenting the “massive and systematic” human rights violations caused by that conflict over the last 11 years that resulted in “unconscionable human cost.”
“The destruction that Syrians have endured is so extensive and deadly that it has few equals in modern history,” Guterres said on Friday. “There must be no impunity.”
The consistent degradation and destruction of infrastructure across Syria for more than a decade since the conflict began have “deepened the economic crisis” in the country, he noted, adding that Syria’s humanitarian needs are at their highest in over a decade.
“Millions of internally displaced and refugees struggle to survive in the most difficult circumstances,” he said.
Guterres said hope should not be lost despite the dire situation, and action must be taken to alleviate Syrian suffering.
“We must not lose hope, we must act now,” he said. “We must show the courage and determination to move beyond rhetorical commitments to peace and to do all that is necessary to reach a negotiated political solution in line with Security Council Resolution 2254.”
That resolution, adopted back in December 2015, calls for a ceasefire followed by a political settlement in Syria. Guterres said Resolution 2254 provides a road map for peace and can create the conditions on the ground in the country for Syrian refugees to return to their home country.
“My message is clear,” he said. “We cannot fail the Syrian people.
“The conflict must cease. International humanitarian law must be respected,” he added. “I call on all parties to meaningfully engage in the UN-facilitated political process and appeal for further support to scale up the humanitarian response.”
“We must choose peace.”