Remarks by Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan at the “High-level meeting on Syria”

24 September 2019, New York

Madame High Commissioner,

Ladies and Gentleman,

The delegation of Kazakhstan would like to thank the European Union and personally High Commissioner Mogherini for organizing the annual high-level meeting on Syria. I also express our gratitude to UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner for their informative briefings. We appreciate your commitment and determination to pursue peace in Syria.

Kazakhstan reaffirms its stand for a solution to the conflict in Syria based on the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254 and the Geneva communiqué through a comprehensive Syrian-led and a Syrian-owned political process, facilitated by the UN to reach a political settlement that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.

Kazakhstan supports the work carried out by the Astana guarantors, whose efforts noticeably diminished intensity of the conflict, and contributed to mitigating the suffering of the people. We welcome the establishment of a credible, balanced and inclusive constitutional committee on Syria, which can and should open the doors to a broader political process. 

On humanitarian track, we express our serious concern about the continuing severe and devastating nature of the situation in Syria. We strongly support humanitarian actors, including UN agencies and non-governmental organizations, and insist that parties support them in fulfilling their mandates. It is important to ensure unconditional, unimpeded and sustained provision of humanitarian assistance to the people as well as their safe, dignified and voluntary return to their homes, as well as the protection of medical and humanitarian workers. 

Concerning the situation in the North-West, we encourage the guarantor States of the Astana Process and other all stakeholders to continue consultations to seek peaceful ways to liberate the Idlib province from terroristsWe must ensure that defeating the Security Council-listed terrorist groups and foreign terrorist fighters must remain a key international priority. These should include efforts to avoid any prospect of a resurgence of terrorism.

Finally, we would like to reinforce the message by ICRC President Peter Maurer. Kazakhstan has responded to the call of the United Nations to take necessary measures to ensure that our nationals both foreign terrorist fighters and their family members are repatriated in line with international law and standards. In close partnership with member of partners we have successfully carried out a special humanitarian operation. As a result, 595 Kazakh citizens entrapped by terrorist propaganda, including 406 kids back home. We now carry out special rehabilitation programme  to deracialize returnees and  reintegrate into society. In this regard, we call on other countries to also fulfill their obligations and take care of their nationals.

I thank you.

Created at : 24.09.2019, 22:50, Updated at : 24.09.2019, 22:50