Monday, October 17, 2016

Canada Seeks General Assembly Action on Syria After Security Council's "Failure"

Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations
October 13th, 2016

H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson,
President of the seventy first session of the UN General Assembly
United Nations Headquarters, Conference Building, Room CB-0246
New York, NY 10017

Your Excellency,
We have the honour to write to you on behalf of 69 Member States, including Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia, Moldova, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America and Uruguay to express our serious concern about the humanitarian tragedy that continues to unfold in Syria.

We are deeply concerned that the international community has failed to address the overwhelming humanitarian needs of Syrians and to halt the attacks against civilian targets in Aleppo and other parts of Syria. The failure, in this case, by the United Nations Security Council to carry out its responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security in Syria is troubling.

The General Assembly also has responsibilities which should be exercised in regard to the maintenance of international peace and security. The victims of this tragedy deserve action, starting with a cessation of hostilities and immediate humanitarian access allowing for a resumption of political talks and unhindered access.

We are, therefore, calling on you as President of the General Assembly to immediately call a plenary meeting of the current General Assembly. This would allow the entire United Nations membership the opportunity to address this issue, in accordance with the UN Charter. We believe that such a meeting is an important first step for Member States to explore concerted action to apply pressure on the parties to the violence and, ultimately, protect the lives of those innocent civilians who remain in harm’s way. This meeting would also assist Member States in determining whether to call for an Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly.

We stand ready to support you in your role as President of the General Assembly and urge you to bring this issue to the full UN membership and the Secretary -General.

Please accept Excellency the assurances of our highest consideration.

Sincerely yours,
Marc-Andre Blanchard
Ambassador and
Permanent Representative
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