Thank you, Mr. President. Over the last 26 months we have witnessed a brutal conflict in Syria. The Assad regime, drawing upon an arsenal of heavy weapons, aircraft, ballistic missiles, and—potentially—chemical weapons, has killed or injured untold numbers of civilians who for many months manifested their opposition purely through peaceful protest. The sustained violence has created a severe humanitarian crisis with more than 1.4 million refugees and 4.25 million internally displaced persons within Syria.
The consequences of this crisis are growing more dire not only within Syria, but across the region. The generosity of the governments and people of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and others who host large numbers of refugees has been extraordinary, but these countries now face grave threats to their security and an overwhelming economic burden. It is clear that we need a Syrian-led peaceful political transition.
With this in mind, the United States and the Russian Federation announced on May 7 an initiative to bring the Syrian regime and the opposition together in an effort to try to advance a political solution under the framework agreed to in Geneva in June 2012. In our view, the resolution before you is consistent with this latest initiative. Adopting this resolution will send a clear message that the political solution we all seek is the best way to end the suffering of the people of Syria.
We support this resolution, have co-sponsored it, and urge member states to vote in favor of it.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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