Thanks to the president.

I would like to begin by expressing the UK’s deepest sympathies on the deaths of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and former President José Eduardo dos Santos.

I would like to start by thanking Ireland and Norway for their excellent efforts and masterful diplomacy as handles to find a reasonable compromise on this text.

It is very regrettable that Russia has again vetoed the humanitarian resolution on Syria. This is a very irresponsible veto that will have tragic consequences.

The UN and humanitarian organizations have repeatedly described the 12-month extension as essential, not least to provide operational hope for the 4.1 million Syrians who are desperate for support from the cross-border mechanism.

The authors of the pens consulted widely with Council members, and their balanced text also provided important support for early recovery, resilience and livelihoods planning, reflected in the broad support it received.

The six-month extension will create serious operational challenges for front-line NGOs – for their planning, their procurement, their staffing and ultimately their sustainability.

We will not support a resolution introduced by the Russian Federation that simply serves to cut in half the fragile confidence we have in humanitarian operations and strengthen the Assad regime.

We really need to find a way forward to preserve this vital humanitarian lifeline, and pen holders have our full support as they strive to do so.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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