Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Faisal al-Hamwi dismissed some of the paragraphs of the report submitted by UN Secretary General\'s Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui as a blatant divergence from neutrality and credibility.
Delivering Syria’s statement at the meeting of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on the international humanitarian initiative for children care, al-Hamwi criticized Zerrougui’s ignoring of the Syrian government’s cooperation with her and her team and the UNICEF office in Syria.
He affirmed that the Syrian government has closely cooperated with the UNICEF since the beginning of the crisis and facilitated its relief missions and humanitarian mandate, adding that the government invited Zerrougui and has received her twice and allowed her access to the areas she wanted to visit.
“We would like to highlight here our wonder at what came in some of Zerrougui’s report’s paragraphs and her blatant divergence in these paragraphs from the approach of neutrality and credibility,” said al-Hamwi in Syria’s statement.
He cited among “the most prominent of these missteps” is ignoring the cooperation which the Syrian government showed to Zerrougui’s team and the UNICEF office in Syria.
The Syrian Representative also slammed the report for overlooking the grave violations against the Syrian children in the camps in neighboring countries, most importantly the attempts at recruiting them to fight in Syria by a number of takfiri and terrorist organizations.
Al-Hamwi stressed that Zerrougui also ignored in her report any reference to the worrying and serious cases of organized crime, child labor and sexual abuse that are spreading among the Syrian children in these camps.
He lashed out at Zerrougui’s report for bypassing any mention of the systematic destruction of schools, hospitals and health centers by the takfiri groups and their blocking of the delivery of medicine and vaccines, particularly polio vaccines, stressing that these practices amount to war crimes.
Al-Hamwi underscored that Syria has been able to achieve an advanced level in child care in the various health, educational and cultural areas, which has been recognized by the concerned international organizations and specialized agencies.
He added that Syria is proud that it was the first country in the region to announce more than a quarter of a century ago that it is polio-free, reiterating that the Syrian government has paid great attention to the issue of child care and protection against the repercussions of the crisis in the country since day one.
Al-Hamwi stressed that the grave impacts of the unjust and illegitimate economic sanctions imposed by some countries on the Syrian people are considered, according to the international humanitarian law, an involvement in the war crimes committed by these countries against the Syrian people.
He clarified that these sanctions are a flagrant violation of the right to live as they deprive the Syrian people and children of food, medicine, vaccines and the necessary medical equipment.
“The Syrian government, which today has undertaken the mission of securing 80% of its people’s necessary needs under the crisis, stresses that it will go ahead with fully and completely shouldering its responsibilities towards its people in compliance with its commitments to the human rights law and the international humanitarian law,” said al-Hamwi.
He affirmed that the Syrian government will continue its close cooperation with the international humanitarian organizations, including the UNICEF, while these organizations respect the sovereignty of the Syrian state and the leading role of the Syrian government and refrain from interfering in the Syrian internal affairs and politicization.
Chairperson of the Syrian Commission for Family Affairs Insaf Hamad presented to Zerrougui in Damascus last July a documented and detailed review of the violations perpetrated by the terrorist groups against children in Syria in terms of recruiting, killing, deforming and raping them, in addition to the destruction of schools and hospitals, the use of schools as training camps and blocking aid delivery.