Minister Coveney Welcomes Agreement on Syrian Cross Border Humanitarian Operation

 Minister Coveney Welcomes Agreement on Syrian Cross Border Humanitarian Operation

On 9 July the Security Council extended the mandate for the cross border humanitarian operation between Turkey and North-West Syria for a period of twelve months, subject to a report from the UN Secretary General at the six month mark. Ireland and Norway have led the negotiations on the renewal of the mandate.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D, welcomed the extension:

“I’m delighted that we have reached agreement on extension of the mandate of the Syria cross border operation at Bab al-Hawa. This will secure vital humanitarian aid for 2.7 million people in North West Syria, providing food, shelter and protection and saving lives.

This was possibly the most challenging and important role that Ireland was entrusted with on the Security Council.

Negotiations were painstaking and sometimes difficult. But we focused on setting out clearly the compelling case for this operation to continue, to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in North West Syria. I visited Bab Al Hawa myself in January, saw first hand the scale and professionalism of the UN operation and spoke to the NGOs working day in, day out to provide aid to the millions of Syrians that rely on the operation for their survival.

I’ve spoken extensively with my counterparts on the Council, including with the US, Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministers. I’ve also built the case with other influential actors outside the Council, including in visits to Turkey, Iran, and the Gulf. My officials have worked around the clock, both in Dublin, New York and across our Embassy network, tirelessly making the case for the people of Syria.’

Background

The mandate for the UN operation at Bab al-Hawa expires on 10 July. This operation deployed around 1,000 trucks a month to North West Syria throughout 2020. Following agreement by the Security Council, the mandate for the operation has been extended until 10 January 2022, subject to the issuance of a report by the UNSG by 10 January 2022 on transparency in operations, and progress on cross-line access.

ENDS
Press Office
9 July 2021

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