Minister-Counselor Qussay al-Dahhak of the Syrian Mission at the United Nations exposed in his statement at 31st Special Session of the UN General Assembly in Response to Coronavirus Disease the Western government’s duplicity and double-standards in facing the COVID 19 challenge they themselves have shown their inability to handle it and handle its consequences.
The Syrian diplomat spoke about the dangers the continuous stubbornness of the United States of America and the European Union in refusing to consider the continuous pleas of the United Nations Secretary-General and top officials of the organization to lift the sanctions and blockade off Syria and other countries that are struggling to meet the basic needs, food, and medicine for their citizens, Syria included, due to these illegal unilateral coercive measures imposed by the so-called ‘developed countries’.
The following is the Syrian Arab Republic’s statement to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session in Response to Coronavirus read by Minister-Counselor Qussay al-Dahhak of the Syrian mission followed by the full transcript in English and in Arabic on the second page:
Transcript of the Syrian Arab Republic statement at the UNGA special session in response to COVID 19:
Mr. President, my delegation welcomes the holding of this important special session that comes after our member states have been exposed without exception to the Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying unprecedented and multifaceted challenges, challenges whose negative effects were not limited to threatening human health only, but also extended to affect the global economy and undermined the lives of millions of people around the world and their livelihoods and to inflict damages to vital sectors, for example, the education sector.
The Corona pandemic confirmed the interdependence between our peoples and our countries and it united us in facing a challenge that did not differentiate between a small or large country, developing or developed, which proves once again the urgent need to review and strengthen the mechanisms of collective action and activate ways of international solidarity and cooperation in the face of humanitarian crises. It also stresses the need for some member state governments to review their aggression-based policies, impose unilateral coercive measures, blockade, and collective punishment of peoples, and to desist from insisting on the wrong, and to uphold the principles of international law and the provisions of the United Nations Charter.
Mr. President, It is regrettable that the international response to the Corona pandemic has been subject to politicization and that the global collective response to this pandemic has been thwarted by those who sought to spread accusations and throw off responsibilities and use this pandemic as a tool to settle their accounts with certain countries, so they called the virus unacceptable offensive labels.
The representatives of those governments insisted on including the response to the epidemic to a large list of files that were overshadowed by politicization, prolonged and obstructed their solution and settlement, and we are fully aware of what that means, Mr. President, because my country, Syria, has suffered for years and is still suffering as a result of the politicization of some hostile governments to many cases including those of a humanitarian relief and development nature, and using it as a weapon and as a tool to serve their agendas and plans directed against my country and the region.
Mr. President, despite the difficult living and economic conditions imposed by the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, some member states, and regional blocs continued to impose unilateral coercive measures on many of our member states, including my country, Syria, ignoring the pleas of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and senior representatives of our international organization to put an end to these illegal measures.
These measures have limited the ability of the Syrian state’s institutions to deal with the pandemic, despite the Syrian government’s utmost efforts in this regard. Not only that, Mr. President, but some Western governments have made attempts to absolve themselves of the crime of targeting Syrians with coercive measures in their food, medicine, and basic living needs, including infant formula, surgical equipment, and medical devices, and have sought to promote allegations of humanitarian exemptions from these measures, which are fake exemptions, its presence is limited to the statements of those who promote it and tries to cover up the dire consequences of coercive measures, considering them a tool to kill civilians and suffocate them economically and livelihoods.
Mr. President, talking about the effects of the Corona epidemic and international cooperation to confront it requires us to call for strengthening international efforts under the umbrella of the United Nations to confront the grave challenges that threaten international peace and security and impede the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and harm our peoples, their security and well-being, which requires combating terrorism and draining resources funding it and holding accountable the governments of the countries that support it, ending the occupation and putting an end to the acts of aggression and criminal practices associated with it and the plundering of the wealth and capabilities of countries, including the American, Turkish and Israeli occupation of parts of my country, Syria.
Mr. President, refugees and internally displaced persons are among the most vulnerable groups that have been greatly affected by the Corona pandemic, but this has not prevented the governments of their host countries from continuing to exploit the suffering of refugees, including Syrian refugees, in the most heinous exploitation by transforming their humanitarian cause into a political paper to blackmail the European Union, sometimes, and to try to conclude suspicious deals at their expense or to put pressure on the Syrian government at other times.
My country is working to ensure the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of the displaced to their areas of residence; and in cooperation with friendly countries and partners in humanitarian work, it has made great efforts to restore security and stability and create an appropriate environment for their return and reconstruction of what has been destroyed by terrorism. For this purpose, my government and its allies organized the International Conference for the Return of Syrian Refugees and Displaced Persons in Damascus on November 11 and 12 and are looking forward to the support of the United Nations and its member states for their return, reconstruction, achieving economic recovery and providing basic services away from political conditions and donors’ dictations that are inconsistent with the principles of humanitarian work.
In conclusion, Mr. President, we hope that this special session of the General Assembly will achieve its desired goals. Addressing the pandemic and its aftermath requires global measures based on the values of the United Nations Charter and the principles of cooperation, solidarity, and multilateral partnership among our member states, away from the policies of hostility and attempts to isolate and abuse, and thank you, Mr. President.
Arabic transcript of the statement on the second page.