SECURITY COUNCIL’S LEADERSHIP ROLE VITAL TO END ‘APPALLING SUFFERING’ IN #SYRIA

United Nations

UN OFFICIAL POST   
After its call on all parties in Syria for humanitarian access to relieve the plight of civilians trapped by heavy fighting, the Security Council must show leadership to ensure cooperation for delivery of food and medicines, and protection measures, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator urged today.

“I am extremely disappointed that we have not been able to make further progress on the ground,” said Valeria Amos as she briefed the Council this morning on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

“Three weeks have passed since the adoption of the Council’s Presidential Statement [on the issue]; with little change to report. Each day that passes without the parties upholding their most basic obligations results in more lost lives, more displaced people and more people denies access to the most basic services,” added Ms. Amos, who is also the Under-Secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs.

On 2 October, the Council, in a Presidential Statement, urged the Syrian Government to immediately allow cross border aid deliveries, and also called on all parties to the conflict to agree on humanitarian pauses in the fighting, with special attention to key delivery routes.

The statement also deplored the escalating violence in a conflict that has already killed more than 100, 000 people and driven some 6.5 million other form their homes since opposition protesters first sought the ouster of the Government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

“Words, despite their ability to shock, cannot really paint a picture of the grime and gruesome reality of Syria today,” Ms. Amos said in today’s briefing. “I call upon all members of the Council to exert influence and take necessary action to stop this brutality and violence. This Council’s leadership role is vital.”

She said humanitarian pauses are needed in all locations “where communities are being held hostage by one party of the other to the conflict” to deliver food, medicine and shelter. “We need those who control the check-points, on both sides of the conflict to ensure the safe and unhindered passage of humanitarian convoys,” she added.

English: Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos at the 20...

English: Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos at the 2007 World Economic Forum on Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ms. Amos also said that people must be allowed to move to safer areas without fear of attack and that he Syrian Government must immediately lift all bureaucratic impediments to humanitarian operation, including visa delays.

The suffering will only get worse as the fighting intensifies and winter sets in, she said, warning: “this is a race against time.”

Speaking to reporters after her briefing, Ms. Amos reiterated her disappointment at the lack of progress in efforts to alleviate the suffering in Syria and said: “What we are seeing is a deepening of the crisis, more and more people affected and in particular I expressed my concern about the extremely brutal and violent nature of this conflict.”

Ms. Amos said she asked the Council to consider a number of measures which would help implement the Presidential Statement and had expressed the desire to discuss the issues in further detail.

She said Council members had listened to her proposals “very carefully” and had asked questions of their own, including on the attitude of both the Government and the opposition to the aims of the Statement; on the security situation and what might be hampering aid delivery; and on specific issues such as the situations of women and children.

“The situation on the ground has not fundamentally changed [since the adoption of the Presidential Statement]. What I need is the political support of the Security Council members and other Members of the United Nations to really make a difference,” she said.

On the political front, UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky said the Joint Special Representative for Syria of the UN and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, is in Qatar today, where he met the Emir to discuss the crisis and preparations for an international conference on Syria, to be held in Geneva.

He said that yesterday, Mr. Brahimi was in Turkey where he met with General Salim Idriss of the Free Syrian Army and 10 of his military commanders, and they also discussed the holding of a conference on Syria. “The Joint Special Representative reiterated his view that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis and that all efforts should be exerted to stop the conflict and end the suffering of the Syrian people,” Mr. Nesirky said.

He said that before travelling to Doha, Mr. Brahimi met today in Ankara with Ahmet Davotuglu, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss preparations for the Geneva conference. Mr. Brahimi heads to Tehran tomorrow.

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#SYRIA: UN Humanitarian Chief Urges Safe Passage for Civilians Trapped in Rural Damascus

English: Emblem of the United Nations. Color i...

English: Emblem of the United Nations. Color is #d69d36 from the image at http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/maplib/flag.htm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The United Nations humanitarian chief on Saturday called for a ceasefire in Moadamiyeh in Rural Damascus to allow aid agencies access to evacuate thousands of civilians trapped by the ongoing conflict in Syria.

“The humanitarian community has stressed time and time again that people must not be denied life-saving help and that the fighting has to stop,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said in a <“https://docs.unocha.org/sites/dms/Documents/Statement%20by%20USG%20Valerie%20Amos%20on%20Moadamiyeh,%20Syria%2019Oct2013.pdf“>statement.

Humanitarian agencies have been denied access to Moadamiyeh for months, the statement noted. Although the evacuation of more than 3,000 people took place on Sunday, the same number or more remain trapped. There are reports of continued shelling and fighting in the area, preventing the completion of the rescue operation.

“I call on all parties to agree an immediate pause in hostilities in Moadamiyeh to allow humanitarian agencies unhindered access to evacuate the remaining civilians and deliver life-saving treatment and supplies in areas where fighting and shelling is ongoing,” said Ms. Amos, who is also UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Those already evacuated from Moadamiyeh received immediate assistance from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, UN humanitarian agencies and partners, local businesses and private individuals, including food, medical treatment and psycho-social support.

Ms. Amos said she continues to be “extremely worried” by the situation unfolding across Syria where ordinary women, children and men are facing horrific violence and brutality from all sides of the conflict.

Thousands of families also remain trapped in other locations across Syria, for example in Nubil, Zahra, old Aleppo town, old Homs town and Hassakeh.

“Civilians must be allowed to move to safer areas without the fear of attack,” stressed Ms. Amos.

“It is vital that all parties to the conflict respect their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian laws to protect civilians and to allow neutral, impartial humanitarian organizations safe access to all people in need, wherever they are in Syria.”

The conflict, which began in March 2011, has claimed over 100,000 lives, sent more than 2 million people fleeing for safety to neighbouring countries and displaced 4.5 million within Syria.

#AceWorldNews #syria #peace

 

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