Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari called for including fighting terrorism in the UN post-2015 development agenda and considering it a priority for sustainable development.
Addressing the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Summit on Saturday, which adopted the agenda, al-Jaafari said terrorism is chief among other elements that are holding back development in Syria.
“Terrorism is burning up everything all around and wiping out all the achievements made by the Syrians towards achieving development,” added al-Jaafari, explaining that Syria’s economy, infrastructure, resources, its youth’s potentials and civilization are all jeopardized by terrorism.
The ultimate goal of the terrorists and their operators, he added, is to destroy Syria and what it stands for as “the most important fortress of moderation, tolerance and peaceful co-existence in the region.”
He highlighted the grave threat posed to Syria’s environment due to the terrorists’ random oil and gas extraction and sale practices, referring also to the “regrettable draining” of the Syrian cultural heritage at the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations.
In light of Syria’s suffering from the scourge of terrorism, said al-Jaafari, “we strongly support that the adopted document mention and consider combating terrorism as a priority to achieve sustainable development.”
He noted that combating terrorism should be based on principles, primarily observing the UN Charter and the international law rules on respecting the countries’ sovereignty and implementing the UN resolutions pertaining to fighting terrorism and holding to account the governments, organizations and individuals involved in supporting the terrorists.
Al-Jaafari also underscored the grave repercussions of the unilateral economic sanctions imposed on various Syrian vital sectors on development in the country.
With the trade, finance, investment and energy sectors affacted, he said, these sanctions have caused very massive losses, leading to a sharp drop in the development levels, which in turn reflected badly on the Syrian people’s living standards who are suffering from severe shortages of food and medical needs.
Commenting on the recent phenomenon of immigration from Syria, al-Jaafari said it is the result of the “wrong approach” of some countries in dealing with the situation in the developing countries, including lack of seriousness in economically supporting these countries and involvement in inflaming crises and interference in their internal affairs.
Israeli’s continued occupation of the Arab territories for more than six decades, committed with impunity, was also cited by Syria’s UN Ambassador as another main hurdle to development in the region.