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Maintenance of international peace and security

Monday, 23 February 2015
Dr. Bashar Ja'fari
Security Council

Mr. president,

Let me at the outset congratulate you, Mr. President, on presiding over the Council for this month. I also welcome the presence of Mr. Wang Yi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, at this meeting and thank him for convening this debate.

Let me reaffirm the following points:

The first is the importance of strict compliance with the principles of the Charter. At the top of this list is respect for the sovereignty of States, their territorial integrity, legality, sovereignty, the peaceful settlement of international disputes and non-interference in the internal affairs of other States. That is the sole approach that anchors the rule of law on the international scene. Respect for international peace and security guarantees development and strengthens cordial relations among Member States.

Secondly, the experience of the past seven decades underlines the need to respect and comply with the Charter and to reform certain working methods of the Security Council. There is also a need to strengthen other working methods so that the United Nations can be in a position to play the role entrusted to it by Member States and to preserve its effectiveness.

Throughout its history, the United Nations has had to deal with actions of certain influential States seeking to impose their hegemony over the Organization and make use of it for their own interests and policies without paying the slightest attention to the contradictions of their policies with the principles and purposes of the Charter or the interests of other Member States. When the founders of the Organization drafted the Charter, they opened it with “We the peoples of the United Nations”, but we see current practice as an attempt to change this wording to “We, certain influential States of the United Nations”. We have seen this very clearly since the very inception of the United Nations, which has been paralysed and remains so because of the policies of certain of these influential States, and is unable to take the necessary measures under the Charter to implement many of its resolutions of international legitimacy, particularly those calling for an end to the Israel occupation of the Syrian Golan and other occupied Arab territories, and for Israel to end its aggressive policies and racist crimes against Arab citizens living under occupation in the States of the region.

That is also very clear when the Charter is flouted by double-standard policies. New terminology, new principles and new concepts have emerged to circumbent the Charter and international law, such as the protection of civilians. This concept that does not enjoy full international support and has been used to justify colonialist, bloody, military interventions in certain areas, for example in Iraq and Libya, which are now dealing with chaos and terrorism. It is also used to impose illegal unilateral measures against certain States, including Syria.

Thirdly, the United States, which won the Second World War and defeated fascism and racism, must now work seriously and sincerely on the civilian and military fronts to address the terrorist tidal wave represented by international terrorist groups linked Al-Qaida, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Al-Nusra Front and their offspring in Syria and Iraq, which are supported from outside. We see this in Boko Haram, the Movement of East Turkestan, the Caucasus Emirate, Ansar al-Sharia, Al-Shabaab, and others. Syria reaffirms in this respect that all efforts aimed at putting an end to terrorism will be successful only if we stick to the principles of the Charter and international law and cooperate with the Governments and institutions of the States involved, since certain States make use of terrorism as a tool for international policies, and only if we stop ignoring the fact that others actually practise terrorism.

The situation in Syria and other States of the region demonstrates the deplorable state the United Nations is in. Since the initial days of the crisis — and we are now in its fifth year — certain States have used this forum to intervene flagrantly in the internal affairs of Syria and worked relentlessly to provoke, spread lies, demonize the Syrian Government, exacerbate the crisis and support terrorism in all its forms, as well as to block efforts to achieve a settlement, destabilize Syria and undermine its policies and its strategic, national sovereign choices in order to promote regime change through force and terrorism. Certain States have also sought to impose unilateral measures against the Syrian people and to lay the groundwork and find excuses for military intervention on the basis of falsehoods, as we saw in the Libyan experience. The brotherly Libyan people and the whole world continue to see the disastrous effects of such an approach, without hearing the least apology from those who responsible for these deadly destructive and serious actions. We see no enlightenment or change in their disastrous policies, which have heaped shame upon them and bled our peoples.

The situation does not stop there. Certain influential States members of the Council have worked to guide their puppet regimes in the region and encouraged them to gather terrorists, criminals, foreign mercenaries and bloodthirsty Takfiris from throughout the world, to finance and arm them, and send them to Syria and Iraq to establish their pseudo-State and make Syria a new base for their terrorism against the rest of the world. The Turkish regime has gone further still. Just yesterday morning, it carried out an aggression on Syrian territory when hundreds of soldiers and armoured divisions from Turkey made an incursion into Syrian territory. That aggression demonstrates Turkish intentions to expand into the region and the depth of the relationship between the Turkish regime and the terrorist group ISIL.

Where are the promises made by those States, when they joined the United Nations, to live together in peace and in relations of good-neighbourliness? Where is their respect for the principles of international law concerning friendly relations and cooperation among States, set out in General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) of 1970? How can the representatives of these influential countries who have spoken today explain these violations? Why is the Security Council unable to condemn these practices?

I have with me today a 500-page document that includes the names of thousands of foreign terrorists who were killed in October 2013 alone. Hundreds of those were nationals of Council members. We are talking about realities and we feel deep pain. Thousands are being killed in Syria, Iraq and other States in the context of the inertia of the so-called international community and its inability to bring to account the masterminds of international terrorism. If the United Nations is not compelled to respect the principles of the Charter and international law, it will have lost its moral quality and will have become a weapon for the strongest against the weakest.

In response to the statement made by the representative of the United States, who is a specialist in international law, need I remind her that the Pentagon’s training of mercenaries in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to deal with Syria is a flagrant violation of the principles of the Charter and prohibited under resolutions 2170 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2195 (2014), and 2199 (2015)?