Sunday, 23 February 2014

UN approves Syria humanitarian resolution

Text by FRANCE 24 
Latest update : 2014-02-23

The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously adopted a humanitarian resolution to improve aid access in Syria and threatened to take 'further steps' in the case of non-compliance.

The resolution also condemned rights abuses by both the Syrian government and armed opposition groups committed during the ongoing civil war.
Russia and China, which have shielded Syria’s government on the Security Council during the country’s almost three-year-long civil war, voted in favour of the resolution.
They had previously vetoed three resolutions that would have condemned Syria’s government and threatened it with possible sanctions.
The resolution asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report back to the council in 30 days on the implementation of the resolution and, “expresses its intent to take further steps in the case of non-compliance”. Still, diplomats say Russia is unlikely to agree to any action against Assad’s government if is it found to be in non-compliance.
“This resolution should not have been necessary. Humanitarian assistance is not something to be negotiated; it is something to be allowed by virtue of international law,” Ban told the council.
“Profoundly shocking to me is that both sides are besieging civilians as a tactic of war,” he said after the vote.
The United Nations says 9.3 million people need help and that well over 100,000 people have been killed in the civil war. The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said that more than 136,000 have been killed since a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.
Unhindered humanitarian access
Western members of the Security Council have been considering a humanitarian resolution for almost a year. After months of talks, the council adopted a non-binding statement on Oct. 2 urging more access to aid, but that statement produced only a little administrative progress.
The resolution “demands that all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, promptly allow rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for UN humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners, including across conflict lines and across borders.”
It also, “demands that all parties immediately cease all attacks against civilians, as well as the indiscriminate employment of weapons in populated areas, including shelling and aerial bombardment, such as the use of barrel bombs, and methods of warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.”
UN aid chief Valerie Amos had urged the Security Council to act to increase humanitarian access in Syria. Amos has repeatedly expressed frustration that violence and red tape have slowed aid deliveries to a trickle.
“I hope that the passing, by the United Nations Security Council, of a humanitarian resolution will facilitate the delivery of aid to people in desperate need in Syria,” Amos said in a statement after the vote.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Real Time Web Analytics Clicky