First of all, I would like to thank the co-penholders for their immense work and persistency in fighting – truly fighting – for maintaining the cross-border humanitarian mechanism, first established with the resolution 2165 more than five years ago.
Belgium and Germany – and earlier Kuwait – worked closely to reach an outcome that aims at supporting Syrian civilians across the country.
Over five years, millions of Syrians have received vital assistance. For that work, we thank OCHA and other UN agencies, which despite hardships have continued to provide the life-saving and life-sustaining aid to the people in urgent need inside Syria.
Despite numerous compromises, the text provided by the co-penholders is a jump to the unknown. Even though Al-Yaroubiah crossing is mentioned in the text, its future remains unclear.
But, what is even more important is that our colleagues leading these efforts did not resort to short-term political gains – instead they put lives first – lives of the Syrian people.
At the same time, the Russian Federation did not engage in any serious discussion or offering alternatives, which would have granted humanitarian access to the North East of Syria in a sustainable way.
Taking all into account, Estonia voted heavy heartedly today. We supported the resolution to save millions of lives in Idlib, but we strongly voice our discontent with the way how this results was achieved.
As instead of cooperation, the preferred means of negotiations by the Russian Federation were blackmailing and presenting other parties with ultimatums.
Finally, I would like to reiterate that the last minute amendments to the resolution in no way change the principles of the mechanism that have existed thus far, and the deliveries of humanitarian aid do not require the consent of the Syrian authorities.
I thank you Mr. President.