Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield Following a Russian Veto on a UN Security Council Resolution Reauthorizing the UN Cross-Border Mechanism

Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield Following a Russian Veto on a UN Security Council Resolution Reauthorizing the UN Cross-Border Mechanism into Syria

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
July 11, 2023

AS DELIVERED

I will take the floor. Thank you again, Madam President.   

This is really a sad moment. It’s a sad moment for the Syrian people, and it’s a sad moment for this Council, save for one country. What we have just witnessed – what the world has just witnessed – was an act of utter cruelty.

The majority of this Council stood together to extend this humanitarian lifeline to save lives. But one permanent Member State blocked this compromise resolution. And I just have to ask, why? Russia has not lived up to its responsibility as a permanent member of this Council. And it’s beneath the dignity of this body.

This is a gross affront to the values we all hold dear to our efforts to advance peace and security, and, above all, to the Syrian people who have endured so much needless suffering and violence at the hands of the Assad regime.

As I said earlier, this text was a compromise. And in so many ways, it was the absolute minimum that we could achieve. But the United States and other Council members supported the penholders’ resolution in the spirit of compromise. And Russia could not even do that.

Now, Moscow must answer to the international community. And you have to answer to the Syrian people. It will have to go before the UN General Assembly and explain why it neglected the dire humanitarian needs of more than 4 million Syrians. Russia will have to try to justify the unjustifiable.

Colleagues, we cannot accept this obstruction. We must keep at this. The Syrian people are counting on us. And we must all urge Russia to come back to the table in good faith. There is no time to waste. Lives hang in the balance.

Thank you, Madam President.

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