May 28th, 2014

NDP disturbed by ongoing violence in Syria

NDP Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre) made the following statement on disarmament and diplomacy in Syria:

I am deeply disturbed by reports of violence against United Nations inspectors and staff in Syria, and by allegations that weaponized chlorine gas has been used in Syria in contravention of international law. International monitors must have unrestricted access to all of Syria in order to verify the full and irreversible destruction of all chemical weapons. The work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is essential to ensuring a more peaceful and prosperous future for the Syrian people.

I am also grateful for the work of the UN-Arab League Special Representative on Syria. Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi and Damascus office head Mokhtar Lamani have demonstrated an impressive commitment to peaceful diplomacy. Their resolve is particularly admirable in the face of continued obstruction and violence by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and the repeated vetoes of further UN action by Russia and China.

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development recently concluded a study of the situation in Syria. This study, which the NDP requested, culminated in a report containing comprehensive recommendations for further Canadian action in response to the crisis in Syria. I urge the Government of Canada to implement all of these recommendations, and to support international organizations helping to bring peace and justice to Syria.