United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
March 15, 2022
Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the 11th Anniversary of the Syrian Uprising
Eleven years ago, the Syrian people launched a peaceful revolution, demanding political reforms, inclusive and good governance, and the protection of human rights for all. The Assad regime tragically responded by beating and jailing the protestors, precipitating a brutal conflict that has killed more than 350,000 people and displaced another 13 million people. Today, the humanitarian situation remains dire, with 14.6 million people in need of assistance.
It is long past time for a nationwide ceasefire and a political solution in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which would not only stop the violence but also deliver a government that serves the people, not the other way around. This can only happen when the regime responds to the demands of the Syrian people and heeds the calls of the international community for an end to the atrocities, some of which rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Assad regime must stop throwing up roadblocks and should engage credibly in political processes, led by Special Envoy Geir Pedersen. The United States remains particularly concerned about the plight of the tens of thousands of arbitrarily detained and missing persons in Syria, and the fact that the Assad regime continues to harass, forcibly conscript, detain, torture, and kill Syrian civilians.
During a visit to Turkey last June, and to Jordan last November, I met with Syrians forced to flee their homeland. While many of these individuals long to return home, they know and the international community knows that Syria is not safe for refugee returns. We remain grateful for the compassion and solidarity shown by countries hosting refugees.
As the world presses for an end to the violence, the United States remains committed to preserving unhindered access to life-saving humanitarian assistance through all modalities of delivery. We call on other members of the UN Security Council to join us once again in reauthorizing and expanding cross-border humanitarian aid access, following the Security Council’s unanimous vote last July.
Eleven years on from the start of this conflict, the Syrian people have suffered far too greatly. It is time for a ceasefire, and earnest, urgent efforts to deliver justice, peace, and security to the Syrian people.