February 26th, 2018

NDP Statement on the Situation in Syria

NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Hélène Laverdière made the following statement regarding the situation in Syria:

“New Democrats are shocked by the brutal slaughter of civilians in eastern Ghouta, Syria – a slaughter perpetrated by the Syrian government and its allies.

The rules of war are clear: civilians are not a target. Medical facilities are not a target. Humanitarian organizations must have access to deliver aid. The United Nations Security Council’s call for a ceasefire must be respected.

While Canada does not have a seat on the UN Security Council, Canada must press upon Syria and Russia to uphold the ceasefire – not just for part of the day, but permanently and completely. Anything else is a denial of basic humanity. Any permanent member of the UN Security Council who uses their veto power to block peace or justice efforts on the situation in Syria bears some responsibility for the ongoing suffering of the Syrian people.

The only way to bring peace to the Syrian people is to find a political solution and ensure those responsible for atrocities are brought to account. Where is Canada in pushing for such a solution?

We urge Canada, with its new feminist foreign policy, to fund women’s activists on the ground in Syria. There are countless stories of women activists in Ghouta creating soup kitchens, leading hospitals, and organizing in their communities. Canada must also fund justice and human rights investigators, to ensure crimes committed during this war will be prosecuted. Finally, Canada must immediately increase its humanitarian assistance to this crisis. Syrians cannot wait.”