Apr 07, 2017

Secretary-General António Guterres’s statement on Syria

I continue to follow the situation in Syria closely and with grave concern.

I was abhorred by the chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria, and the death and injury of many innocent civilians.

I have long stated that there needs to be accountability for such crimes, in line with existing international norms and Security Council resolutions.

I have been following reports of the air strikes against the Shayrat Airbase in Syria conducted by the United States.

Mindful of the risk of escalation, I appeal for restraint to avoid any acts that could deepen the suffering of the Syrian people.

These events underscore my belief that there is no other way to solve the conflict than through a political solution. I call on the parties to urgently renew their commitment to making progress in the Geneva talks.

A political solution also remains essential for progress in the fight against terrorism.

The Security Council has the primary responsibility for international peace and security. I call on the Council to unite and exercise that responsibility.

For too long, international law has been ignored in the Syrian conflict, and it is our shared duty to uphold international standards of humanity. This is a prerequisite to ending the unrelenting suffering of the people of Syria.
New York, 7 April 2017