In UN Assembly, Liechtenstein denounces Security Council’s ‘shameful indifference’ on Syria
24 September 2016 – Accusing the United Nations Security Council of “shameful indifference” and “failure” in stopping the mass atrocities committed in Syria, Liechtenstein’s Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick mounted the podium of the General Assembly today to call on the 15-member body to face up to its responsibilities with a change of political culture.
“The Security Council can enter a new phase of its history of engagement on these crimes: moving from shameful indifference to responsible action,” she told the Assembly’s annual general debate, noting that atrocities are the main cause of the refugee and migrant crisis now facing the world.
“The Code of Conduct on atrocity crimes of the ACT group is subscribed to by 112 States and offers this opportunity: A change of political culture in the Security Council which will make failures such as the one in Syria a thing of the past – and the significant reduction of forced displacement a reality.
“It goes hand in hand with the Secretary-General’s Human Rights Upfront initiative –which we warmly welcome,” she said.
ACT – The Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group – is cross-regional grouping of 27 small and mid-sized countries working to improve the Council’s functioning.
“The world is looking at this Organization to provide this engagement – and is too often disappointed. Getting serious about conflict prevention should be a priority for the next Secretary-General, with the means necessary provided by us States.” Ms. Frick declared.
She also praised Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to eliminate poverty, hunger and a host of other social ills over the next 14 years as a pledge to all future generations. “It is also an ambitious promise. We can only keep it, if we work together, with resolve and persistence,” she said.
San Marino’s Foreign Minister Pasquale Valentini highlighted the UN’s role in attaining the SDGs and combatting climate change.
“The level of complexity and the degree of interrelation of the challenges that the United Nations is called to face today is unparalleled in the history of this Organization,” he warned.
“The United Nations must adapt quickly to new global challenges, but also to the new opportunities offered by globalization, in order to be more effective in carrying out its mandate.
“At the same time, the very complexity, of global challenges, which, as such, cannot be solved by individual States, unequivocally reaffirms the value and the central role of the United Nations as a forum for solving global problems.”
He stressed that national interests must not be allowed to prevail over the ideals of solidarity and respect for the universal rights of every human being. “Any hesitation to do so inevitably entails the heavy toll of destruction and loss of human lives,” he stressed.