Alarmed at the devastating humanitarian catastrophe inside Syria, which has taken the lives of more than 250,000 people and displaced nearly 12 million people, the United Nations Security Council issued a Presidential Statement on August 17 demanding that all parties in Syria cease attacks against civilians and end the indiscriminate use of weapons, particularly barrel bombs, in populated areas.
The Presidential Statement also called on all parties to commit to end terrorist acts perpetrated by ISIL, al Nusra Front, and others, and reiterated that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict.
“The only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria,” said the statement, “is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, with a view to full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012.”
Issued by the UN-led Action Group for Syria in 2012, the Geneva Communiqué is a six-point plan to stop the violence in Syria and reach a negotiated political solution to the crisis in Syria.
The UNSC statement supports a plan by Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura who, noting that Syria’s warring parties are not ready to hold formal peace talks, proposed to invite them to participate in four UN-led working groups on how to implement a roadmap to peace.
“The United States welcomes the UN Security Council presidential statement which showed that the Security Council, in one voice, stands for the principles outlined in the Geneva communique,” said State Department Spokesperson John Kirby.
“The statement underscores our long-held view that the only sustainable solution to the crisis in Syria is a political one – an inclusive, Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” said Mr. Kirby.
“The Security Council urged all parties to work diligently and constructively towards this goal. The United States is working diplomatically to achieve such a transition and is committed to supporting Special Envoy de Mistura’s efforts.”