May Letter to UNSC on Resolutions 2139/65/91

On 27 May, the Syrian National Coalition's Special Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Najib Ghadbian, sent a letter to the UN Security Council in advance of today's briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria by UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos. The letter calls on the Security Council to:

  1. protect civilians through the imposition of a no-fly zone.  Indiscriminate aerial bombardment is the leading cause of civilian death in Syria.  A no-fly zone would save lives, deter the use of chemical weapons, alleviate suffering and create the conditions needed to begin a political process;

  2. demand UN access to Syria’s besieged areas, with or without regime consent.  More than 440,000 Syrians live in besieged areas.  The Security Council should demand free access to all besieged areas, so that food, water and urgently needed medical care can reach those who need it;

  3. demand greater transparency in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Throughout the course of the Syrian crisis, there have been multiple reports that aid kits destined for civilians and delivered by aid agencies are stolen by Syrian regime militias. The UN must do more to prevent Assad’s forces from diverting life-saving assistance, including by calling on the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to publicise its methodology regarding the administration and delivery of humanitarian aid, including that distributed through its partner in Syria, the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (IFRC).

  4. refer the situation in Syria to the ICC.  Syrian regime forces and terrorist extremist terrorist groups like ISIL continue to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity with impunity.  An ICC referral would end impunity, deter further atrocities and bring justice to victims.

Full text of the letter and its annex is available here.


 

H.E. Ms. Raimonda Murmokaité
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Permanent Mission of Lithuania to the United Nations
President of the UN Security Council
 
27 May 2015
 
 
Your Excellency,
 
On behalf of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, it is my grave responsibility to draw to your attention the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria and the urgent need for decisive Security Council action to stop the killing of innocent civilians and alleviate humanitarian suffering, including through the imposition of a no-fly zone.
 
Since the Under-Secretary-General and the Emergency Relief Coordinator last briefed the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria, the violence perpetrated by Syrian regime forces and terrorist extremist groups has worsened.  Syrian regime forces continued to attack civilian areas and facilities—including hospitals and schools—in Idlib, Aleppo, Damascus, eastern Ghouta, Homs and Dar’a, killing men, women and children. Syrian regime helicopters continued to deploy chlorine gas in civilian occupied neighborhoods, including in Saraqib, Idlib on 2 May and Janoudieh, Kansafrah and Kafr Batiekh on 7 May (for a more detailed overview of Syrian regime atrocities see Annex I). As a direct result of the Syrian regime’s indiscriminate aerial bombardment, a total of 828 Syrians were killed—representing 45 percent of the 1,849 Syrians killed by Syrian regime forces and extremist terrorist groups since the Under-Secretary-General and the Emergency Relief Coordinator last briefed the Council on 24 April 2015.  
 
Syrian regime forces also continued to prevent and obstruct the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid to Syrians in need, as result of which 12.2 million Syrians remained in need of humanitarian assistance and over 422,000 people remained under siege. As in prior months, Syrian regime forces repeatedly removed medical equipment and supplies from humanitarian aid convoys. On 22 May, anti-regime forces in Idlib posted video of boxes of relief supplies recovered in the Mastouma military base bearing the logos of international aid agencies, including those of the World Food Programme and UNICEF. These boxes had been confiscated by Syrian regime forces, who continue to pursue a campaign of depriving civilians of food, water and medical care. 
As Syrian authorities continued their assault on Syrian civilians, terrorist extremist groups represented by ISIL perpetrated new atrocities, including in Deir Ezzor Province, the Yarmouk refugee camp and Palmyra, detaining, torturing and executing civilians, including women and children.  The atrocities perpetrated by ISIL were once again facilitated and exacerbated by Syrian regime forces. In the 2,000 year old UNESCO world heritage site of Palmyra, regime forces refused to allow civilians safe passage as ISIL terrorists raided the ancient city. Palmyra was made even more vulnerable when officers abandoned their command, leaving civilians to fend for themselves. In both Palmyra and the Yarmouk refugee camp, Syrian aerial forces indiscriminately bombarded civilian occupied areas. On 28 April and 1 May, regime forces launched air and missile attacks in the Yarmouk refugee camp, killing at least 12 civilians. On 26 May, regime aircraft dropped bombs in the areas surrounding the ancient ruins of Palmyra, resulting in the destruction of residential buildings and the deaths of at least 15 civilians, including women and children. 
 
The atrocities perpetrated by Syrian regime forces and ISIL terrorists violate international humanitarian and international human rights law, including UN Security Council resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014) and 2191 (2014), which demanded that Syrian authorities cease their “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.” The atrocities perpetrated by Syrian authorities can and must be stopped through the resolve and determination of the Security Council and its constituent Member States.  The Syrian Coalition therefore calls on the Security Council to:
 
  1. protect civilians through the imposition of a no-fly zone.  Indiscriminate aerial bombardment is the leading cause of civilian death in Syria.  A no-fly zone would save lives, deter the use of chemical weapons, alleviate suffering and create the conditions needed to begin a political process;

  2. demand UN access to Syria’s besieged areas, with or without regime consent.  More than 440,000 Syrians live in besieged areas.  The Security Council should demand free access to all besieged areas, so that food, water and urgently needed medical care can reach those who need it;

  3. demand greater transparency in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Throughout the course of the Syrian crisis, there have been multiple reports that aid kits destined for civilians and delivered by aid agencies are stolen by Syrian regime militias. The UN must do more to prevent Assad’s forces from diverting life-saving assistance, including by calling on the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to publicise its methodology regarding the administration and delivery of humanitarian aid, including that distributed through its partner in Syria, the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (IFRC).

  4. refer the situation in Syria to the ICC.  Syrian regime forces and terrorist extremist terrorist groups like ISIL continue to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity with impunity.  An ICC referral would end impunity, deter further atrocities and bring justice to victims.

Your Excellency, the actions I have outlined will save lives and alleviate the suffering of my people.  They will also enable the Council to fulfill its responsibility to restore peace and stability to Syria.  As Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos embarks on her final days in office, I urge you to act on her appeal to match the scale of the Syrian crisis with an equally bold and courageous response.  As she stated in her previous remarks to the Security Council on Syria, “The failure to stop the violence has undermined the credibility of this Council and eroded confidence in the international community to take its responsibilities seriously”. On behalf of all the people of Syria, I urge you to heed her warnings and take the actions necessary to save the lives of my people.
 
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
 
Dr. Najib Ghadbian
Special Representative to the United Nations
Do you like this post?

Showing 1 reaction


@ tweeted this page. 2015-05-28 17:16:18 -0400
May Letter to UNSC on Resolutions 2139/65/91 http://www.etilaf.us/may_2139letter?recruiter_id=19468
National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces
Committed to a free, democratic, and pluralistic Syria.