The people of Syria deserve a lasting political solution to the conflict they have been enduring for the past ten years – a solution in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254. That resolution, passed unanimously in 2015, presents a roadmap that includes the writing of a new constitution followed by free and fair elections, in order that, as the Resolution states, “The Syrian people will decide the future of Syria.”
On May 26, Syria will hold a presidential election; but a new constitution has not been written and no significant reforms have been agreed to by the Syrian government. After decades of fraudulent elections by the Assad family, there is little doubt that the result will be similar to the election of 2014, when President Bashar al-Assad garnered 92% of the vote.
In recent remarks to the U.N. Security Council, U.S. Representative to the U.N. Linda Thomas- Greenfield declared that Syria’s upcoming election will be neither free nor fair and will not be representative of the Syrian people.
”The failure to enact a new constitution is proof positive that the so-called election on May 26 will be a sham,” she said. “As this Council has unanimously mandated, elections must occur pursuant to a new constitution and under UN supervision.”
Meanwhile, declared Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, as the Assad regime runs its sham election, the people of Syria continue to suffer. She noted that lifesaving aid to them is being hindered by the Syrian government, and that the Council’s failure to reauthorize the border crossings at Bal al Salam and at Yaroubiyah, which had been used to deliver aid to millions of Syrians, has added to the misery. She urged the Council to reinstate those border crossings and to reauthorize for 12 months the crossing at Bab al Hawa on the Syria-Turkey border, describing it as “indispensable to ensuring the delivery of food, shelter and medical supplies.”
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also highlighted the plight of the residents living in the Rukban displacement camp in southeast Syria, where for 16 months the camp’s residents have been without medical aid because Assad and Russia have barred deliveries.
The United States stands with the people of Syria, said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “We call for a political resolution to the Syrian conflict,” she declared. “And…we beseech this Council to support the Syrian people and give them access to the humanitarian aid they so desperately need.”