The UN has called for renewed diplomatic efforts to reignite the stalled Syrian peace process, emphasizing the critical need for substantive engagement and coordination among all stakeholders to address the humanitarian crisis in the country and move forward on the path outlined in Security Council Resolution 2254.

Iran PressAmerica: Geir Pedersen, the UN’s Special Envoy for Syria, highlighted the potential for a renewed diplomatic process to act as a “circuit breaker,” provided there is substantial engagement. He, therefore, called on all parties involved in the dispute to come to the negotiating table and “be ready to offer a genuine contribution.”

The primary goals, said Pedersen, are the resumption of the UN-facilitated intra-Syrian political process, in particular through the reconvening of the Constitutional Committee, and the implementation of confidence-building measures.

Addressing the “dire and worsening humanitarian situation is not only a humanitarian necessity but would give some confidence that progress on political issues is also possible,” he added.

His remarks came during a Security Council meeting on Syria, two weeks after council members failed to agree on an extension of a major cross-border mechanism that for years allowed international humanitarian aid to enter northwestern Syria from Turkey and reach more than 4 million people in need in opposition-held areas.

Pedersen expressed deep disappointment at the council’s failure to re-authorize the Bab Al-Hawa crossing, which he described as “a lifeline for millions of civilians.” He urged the international community to step up its efforts to ensure that humanitarian assistance continues to flow across borders.

“As the political envoy, I profoundly hope that all doors are kept open to resolve this issue and that the council and all stakeholders put the needs of the Syrians first,” he said.

“We must redouble efforts to find a solution that ensures the continued delivery of cross-border and cross-line humanitarian assistance. Nothing is more important right now for the most vulnerable Syrians than this.”

Cross-border aid is delivered directly to recipients after entering the country, whereas cross-line aid goes through the regime in Damascus first.

On the political front, Pedersen lamented the fact that “months of potentially significant diplomacy have not translated into concrete outcomes for Syrians on the ground — at home or abroad — or real moves in the political process. I hope they will soon because, if not, it will be another missed opportunity to help the Syrian conflict to come to a negotiated end, at a time when the impact of the crisis is deepening.”

The UN has long stressed the urgent need to ensure humanitarian access to the country is available through all available routes, cross-border and cross-line, to help meet the escalating aid requirements.