It's high time we gave Syrians a positive message

With my recent appointment to the EU Foreign Affairs Committee, I have used this platform to pursue an issue which was one of the main motivations for me to enter European Parliament: the defence of human rights; challenging violations wherever they occur, and whoever perpetrates them. I was pleased, therefore, to be able to deliver this speech in Parliament as a call to action to the international community to ensure that the shocking breaches of International Law in Eastern Ghouta are investigated, and to bring pressure to bear on all actors to cease violence against civilians.

Here is my speech in full:

Two weeks after UN Security Council resolution 2401 was passed, the situation has only gotten worse in Eastern Ghouta.

Bombs continue to rain down with impunity on homes, schools and hospitals and the evacuation of the wounded remains impeded.

More than 2 million people – half of them children – are living under siege and have been prevented from receiving a single aid convoy of vital food and medicine.

All these actions are in breach of International Humanitarian Law.

The ceasefire was blatantly ignored. There is a complete disregard for civilian lives.

I welcome the UN investigation into these crimes, to bring those responsible to justice.

We call on all parties to fully implement the UN resolution, urging the Syrian Government to abide by International Humanitarian Law and immediately allow the safe delivery of humanitarian aid across the country.

My hope is that the upcoming conference on the future of Syria will be an opportunity to mobilise international support for an UN-led political solution.

After 7 years of raging war, unspeakable suffering and collective failures - it’s high time we gave Syrians a positive message.