Explanation of Vote on a draft resolution on cross-border mechanism of humanitarian assistance delivery to Syria

Mr. President,

The Russian delegation voted against the draft Security Council resolution on extension of the cross-border mechanism (CBM) of humanitarian aid delivery to Syria, presented by Belgium and Germany.

Our position on the CBM, established in 2014, is known and remains unchanged. It was established as an exceptional and temporary measure, approved by the Security Council to support the humanitarian relief activities in the war-torn country. It has to be gradually phased out and replaced by humanitarian deliveries in accordance with the principles outlined in UNGA resolution 46/182.

For the past six years the situation on the ground has changed. The territory outside the Government of Syria control has reduced drastically.

However, we fully understand the need to provide humanitarian needs of all Syrians.

Guided by this, we will introduce our own draft, which extends the work of CBM for another 6 months and limits the number of crossing points to one, namely to Bab Al-Hawa. With the territory in Idlib controlled by terrorist groups reduced by 30 percent, we are confident that this border-crossing can cover all essential humanitarian needs of the population in that area. The CB point of Bab Al-Salam was providing only 14% of overall CB deliveries to Idlib.

At the same time we call once again on all relevant actors, including the Syrian Government and UN humanitarian agencies, to engage in facilitating humanitarian deliveries to all parts of Syria through enhancing capacity and effectiveness of cross-line supplies.

We also call on our partners in the Security Council and other UN Member-States not to politicize the humanitarian file, but to swiftly adopt our draft to continue UN humanitarian assistance to the population of Idlib.

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