The United Nations special envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, underscored in a statement commemorating the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Syria and Turkey that despite diplomatic attention following the calamitous February earthquake disaster, tangible progress in resolving the Syrian crisis remains elusive.
Pedersen emphasized that the persistent fallout and regional dynamics “underscore, akin to earthquakes, the heightened vulnerability of Syrians,” urging all stakeholders to implement substantive measures aimed at de-escalating tensions and sustaining support for humanitarian endeavours within Syria.
“A year ago, thousands of Syrians perished in Syria and Turkey due to catastrophic earthquakes, with millions displaced from their ravaged homes. This disaster compounded the already profound suffering wrought by over a decade of conflict, magnifying the plight of Syrians both domestically and across conflict lines,” he articulated in the statement.
“Today, we commemorate the lives lost and commend all those who rallied in solidarity, including the tireless efforts of Syrian grassroots workers and aid organizations. The earthquakes struck at a juncture when humanitarian needs were already staggering and have since continued to burgeon, underscoring the imperative of ongoing support for humanitarian operations, including bolstering early recovery initiatives,” Pedersen continued.
“While the aftermath of the earthquakes momentarily heralded a notable reduction in hostilities, alongside renewed diplomatic engagement towards the Syrian crisis, regrettably, this momentum failed to translate into substantive advancements. Tragically, 2023 witnessed a resurgence of violent conflict, exacerbating the dire humanitarian predicament and stalling progress in the political arena,” he lamented.
Pedersen stressed, “The enduring and unsettling repercussions of regional developments serve as a stark reminder, akin to the earthquakes a year prior, of the acute vulnerability of Syrians. Thus, I implore all stakeholders to undertake concrete measures aimed at de-escalating tensions and to consider the human and economic toll of further conflict escalation in an already volatile region.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.