Guteres Pledges to Work to Protect Syrian Civilians in Letter to Coalition President

The incoming UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pledged to work on protecting civilians in Syria, including an end to attacks against populated areas and a stop the suffering of the Syrian people.

In a letter to the President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Abdah who congratulated Guterres for being elected as the new UN secretary general, Guterres said he “looks to the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces to urgently play a role in forging an inclusive and genuine political solution to this tragic conflict that meets the legitimate aspirations of all the Syrian people.”

“The United Nations stands for a set of universal values: peace, justice, human dignity, tolerance and solidarity. I wish to assure you that I will build on my predecessor’s legacy of absolute impartiality in promoting these principles.” Guterres said.

“On the political track, the United Nations remains fully guided by Security Council resolution 2254 (2016) and the 2012 Geneva Communiqué. As per Security Council resolutions 2170 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2199 (2015), and 2253 (2015), combatting terrorism also remains a priority.”

Guterres went on: “Seeing the Syrian people, that was always so generous in the reception of refugees from neighbouring countries, endure such tragedy over the past five years has been heartbreaking and intolerable.”

“In compliance with the basic tenets of international humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as Security Council resolutions, we must do everything in our power to protect civilians, including an end to attacks against civilian populated areas and civilian infrastructure such as schools, marketplaces, hospitals and mosques; an end to the indiscriminate use of weapons, including internationally banned weapons; and facilitate sustained, unhindered and unconditional humanitarian access throughout the country,” Guterres said. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)