Explanation of Vote on a Russian Draft UN Security Council Resolution on Syria Cross-Border Humanitarian Assistance

Ambassador Kelly Craft
Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
July 10, 2020


After a month of negotiations, we’ve reached the expiration of the mandate that provides cross-border humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people. And on this solemn day, right on cue, Russia presented a draft resolution that makes a mockery of this Council’s responsibilities, defies explicit requests from the UN and humanitarian groups on the ground, and turns a blind eye to millions of Syrians in dire need.

The text that Russia presented today was entirely predictable; it follows their now established pattern to obstruct, lie, deny, and distract. The Russian draft did not come close to meeting the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people. It is riddled with false and misleading language related to sanctions targeted at the Assad regime – clearly designed to obfuscate blame for the humanitarian catastrophe caused by Assad in Syria. It moreover attempts to propagate the well-established lie that cross-line assistance is improving despite multiple reports from the Secretary-General stating the opposite, and it removes any mention of the Security Council-supported political process.

None of this gets us any closer to helping Syrians in need. The Russian Federation’s games are getting old, but there is still a chance to correct this grave mistake. We look forward to continue supporting the penholders in their efforts to preserve humanitarian access for the Syrian people.