Supporting the future of Syria and the region - Brussels IV Conference, 30 June 2020

Statement by ICRC President Peter Maurer

30 June 2020

The shameful truth is this: people are dying needlessly in this war because of the humanitarian aid they depend on is being bargained away in political negotiations.

The cross-line / cross-border stalemate is holding the lives of millions of people hostage.

The only perspective we can take, legally and morally, is on the humanitarian bottom line to respond to people in need.

The ICRC, with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and our Movement partners, urgently needs to step up our life-saving action across Syria, including in the Idlib pocket.

With the SARC, we are providing services responsive to people’s needs and carrying out emergency and longer-term assistance in parallel. Our work also extends to neighboring countries, through delivering essential assistance to millions of displaced people and locating missing family members.

Our responsibility is to deliver neutral and impartial humanitarian services independently and within the legal framework of the Geneva Conventions. States’ responsibility is to ensure this can happen.

We ask States to step up in four critical areas:

  1. To respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law.
  2. Ensure sustained and non-politicized access to humanitarian work. Protect humanitarian action from political controversies in basing your policies on the law, which is the only reasonable basis for consensus.
  3. Keep working so that foreign nationals detained or interned are repatriated in accordance with international obligations.
  4. Despite economic pressures, we ask donors to maintain their support both within Syria and in the region-at-large.