UNSC must do more to ensure humanitarian aid reaches Syrians in need

In response to today’s UN Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria by the UN Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos, Dr. Najib Ghadbian, the Special Representative of the Syrian Coalition, said:

“Today’s briefing by the UN Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs confirms that the UN Security Council can and must do more to relieve the suffering of the Syrian people. Despite the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2165, millions of Syrians continue to go without food, water or medical attention. The Syrian regime’s calculated obstructionism and violent human rights abuses prevent the delivery of cross-line and cross-border assistance, and have made Syria a safe-haven for foreign terrorist groups like ISIS. Today, an unprecedented 12.2 million Syrians are now in need of humanitarian assistance—a thirty percent increase from November 2013.  

To save lives in Syria, the UN Security Council must ensure cross-border delivery at scale and impose consequences for the Assad regime’s non-compliance and obstruction of cross-border and cross-line delivery. The UN Security Council must strengthen the mandate of resolution 2165.  To prevent mass starvation, the UN Security Council must expand the mandate to ensure that all people trapped behind conflict lines and across borders receive the relief they so desperately need.  Most importantly, the Security Council must ensure that the mandate that it has established is fully implemented – resolution 2165 has reached only a fraction of the 3.5 million it was intended to assist.  

As we stated in our letter to the UN Security Council dated 24 November 2014 (http://www.etilaf.us/november_compliance), the Syrian National Coalition and our partners on the ground, the Free Syrian Army, the Interim Government and the Assistance Coordination Unit, remain committed to the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 2139 and 2165. We continue to coordinate with UN agencies, as well as encourage our friends to increase aid through non-UN channels to ensure that assistance reaches the people that need it most.

Further, as regime violence continues to escalate, the international community cannot let another month pass with resolution 2139 being used as nothing more than an expendable piece of paper. The Security Council must redouble efforts to end the conflict in Syria and ensure a political transition to democracy in keeping with the Geneva Communiqué. The Syrian National Coalition remains committed to working towards this solution.  It is imperative that the Council play its part.”

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National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces
Committed to a free, democratic, and pluralistic Syria.