PERMANENT MISSION OF INDIA
64th session Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme
[30 September-4 October 2013]
India’s Statement at High Level Segment on Solidarity and Burden-Sharing with Countries Hosting Syrian Refugees
1. We would like to thank the High Commissioner for Refugees for taking the initiative to convene this High Level Segment on Solidarity and Burden-Sharing with Countries hosting Syrian Refugees and to felicitate you as chairperson of this meeting.
2. The humanitarian situation in Syria has been steadily deteriorating. The latest UNHCR figures point that 1.96 million Syrian refugees, including more than a million children, have been registered, and in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. Over 150,000 Syrians are waiting to cross their country’s borders. The situation has turned into one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades.
3. The humanitarian situation can be brought under control only when the armed conflict comes to an end. There is an urgent need for the international community to close its ranks and send a united message to all sides in Syria to resolve the crisis through an inclusive Syrian-led peaceful political process. An early end to the conflict and return of peace in Syria will determine how soon the refugees can think of returning to their country on a voluntary basis.
4. India is deeply concerned about the hardships and sufferings of the people of Syria. India welcomes and fully supports the initiative of UNHCR to address the need of humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people. We also commend the UNHCR for handling this massive humanitarian situation involving large numbers of women and children, with the care and sensitivity that such situations demand.
5. In keeping with this commitment, India had pledged US$ 2.5 million towards humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria at the International Humanitarian Pledging Conference held in Kuwait in January this year. India offered this assistance in the form of life saving drugs, food and other essential items required by the people of Syria.
6. International solidarity and burden sharing are the foundations on which refugee protection rests. I would like to convey our full support to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for his deep commitment and untiring efforts in this noble cause.
I thank you, Madam Chair.