Remarks to the press on humanitarian action in Syria
Remarks to the press by HE Mr Gary Quinlan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations, before United Nations Security Council briefing and consultations on humanitarian action in Syria
Question: Ambassador, can you tell us when you will be circulating the resolution?
Ambassador Quinlan: We hope to circulate a draft resolution this week. The key thing is to have this session, the consultations and briefing with Valerie Amos based on the Secretary-General's report – and I'd like to remind people it's the Secretary-General himself who signs offthese reports. Four times we've had reports from him saying there has been no compliance with our resolution, and asking the Council to take action. This is the man we entrust with implementing, advising us and assessing for us…the degree of compliance with our resolutions and he says there is none. So we've got to take action. We expect to be in a position after today's briefing to circulate a draft resolution to all 15 members of the Council very quickly. That's the intention, anyway.
Question: Do you have the Russians and Chinese on board?
Ambassador Quinlan: Well we need to circulate a resolution…
Question: But have they given you an indication…
Ambassador Quinlan: You know that Ambassador Churkin proposed a model the other day on cross-border access. He's spoken about that – I'm not interpreting his comments, they're his own comments. The model he's talking about will not work. And it will not work because the Syrian government want to impose a whole range of highly restrictive conditions on the operation which would take us backwards. We will have less access…In other words, we're going to make the problem worse with that model. It's all about distribution at the end of the day. What happens to the food and medicine when it gets across the border? How is it distributed, and to whom? We've got to get that right. If we get that wrong, we'll actually damage the situation and go backwards. So we're determined to get it right, which is why we've taken so long, and which is why this briefing this morning is so vital, with the UN system and the Secretary-General saying through Valerie Amos what will work and what won't work.
Question: So it sounds like you're willing to risk another Russia-Chinese veto?
Ambassador Quinlan: We're not getting into that sort of speculation – because there is genuine commitment among all members of the Council to find a solution – all members of the Council. So that's where we're at, and we hope to go really quickly.