Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (46)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

46. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which he and his EU/UN colleagues remain committed to efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution in Syria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28722/14]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland remains fully committed to a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria. Although reaching a political resolution is a difficult challenge, it remains the best option and the only alternative to the further intensification of the military conflict. UN Secretary General Ban is likely in the near future to announce a new Special Representative to replace former Joint Special Representative Brahimi who stood down at the end of May. The UN will continue to play a central role in efforts to chart a political resolution to the conflict in Syria, in conjunction with the members of the UN Security Council and all relevant international and regional stake-holders, including the EU.

We support Resolution 2139 on the humanitarian situation in Syria which was approved by the UN Security Council in February, for which we had been calling for since last autumn. The latest report on the implementation of Resolution 2139 sets out very clearly that the fundamental obstacles to the provision of humanitarian assistance remain in place across Syria, and that the parties to the conflict remain in breach of international law. This resolution makes absolutely clear the obligations and duties on all parties, especially the Assad regime, to uphold humanitarian principles and international law. Full compliance without any further delay by all parties is the only acceptable response to the resolution.

Ireland has so far disbursed over €28 million in humanitarian relief since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. The denial of access for humanitarian relief to the civilian population by the parties to the conflict is unacceptable and must end. So must such barbaric practices as besieging communities and attempting to starve them into submission.

There must be full accountability for the very many horrific violations of human rights perpetrated against the Syrian people throughout this long conflict. We have consistently called on the UN Security Council to refer the many allegations of war crimes to the International Criminal Court and very much deplore the use of the veto by two Security Council members last May on a resolution calling for referral to the International Criminal Court.