Emergency Relief Official Urges Security Council to Seek Way towards Ending Syrian Conflict, Citing Increasing Atrocities, Worsening Humanitarian Situation

28 January 2015
7369th Meeting (AM)

Emergency Relief Official Urges Security Council to Seek Way towards Ending Syrian Conflict, Citing Increasing Atrocities, Worsening Humanitarian Situation

Challenging Reports, Country’s Representative Says International Community Must Cooperated with Government, Stop Other Countries from Supporting Terrorists

The Security Council must find a way to end the four-year-old conflict in Syria, which had been characterized by extreme violence and brutality, resulting in one of the worst displacements of people the world had seen in decades, a top United Nations relief official told the 15-member body today.

“We must not allow the world to forget Syria and the atrocities being committed against its people,” said Kyung-who Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, delivering a monthly briefing on the situation on the ground with regard to the implementation of Security Council resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014) and 2191 (2014).

Speaking on behalf of Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms. Kang said relentless, extreme violence, brutality and destruction had resulted in 7.6 million people currently displaced within the country and with rising numbers of Syrians who had increasingly desperate needs.

Reminding Council members of the scope of the situation, she said that at the beginning of the conflict, 1 million people needed humanitarian assistance.  Today that figure had risen to 12 million, with 3.8 million people having fled to neighbouring countries.  Although Security Council resolution 2139 (2014) had called for an end of the indiscriminate employment of weapons in populated areas, Government airstrikes and attacks on populated areas by armed opposition groups and designated terrorist organizations had continued, with essential services’ infrastructures being targeted.  In addition, atrocities were being meted out by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS) in areas under their control.

Humanitarian organizations had tried to meet the population’s growing needs, she said, yet not enough assistance had been delivered.  More funding was urgently required for humanitarian agencies to continue their work.  The Syria response was now contained in a single plan and appeal that was inclusive of assistance both from within the country and through cross-border operations.  It would require $2.9 billion this year, she said, while recalling that last year only 48 per cent of the amount requested had been received.  Meanwhile, no progress had been achieved on the inclusion of surgical supplies in humanitarian convoys and the majority of requests to the Government to reach critical areas, including Eastern Ghouta, had remained largely unanswered.

Following that briefing, Ali Ahmad Haydar, Syria’s representative, took the floor, telling the Council that his Government had done its utmost to ensure the humanitarian needs for its citizens in the face of the terrorism engulfing the country.  It had agreed to the United Nations assistance plan for 2015 to complement those efforts.  He regretted, however, that last year’s Council resolutions and the reports following up on them had politicized the situation, ignoring all facts on the ground.  In particular, he said, the reports used stereotypical language that ignored the attacks by terrorist armed groups.

Without the protection and support that the Syrian Government provided to the United Nations and partners, no aid could be delivered, he maintained.  Cross-border delivery had been shown to be especially ineffective, as the United Nations did not have adequate control over the distribution of such goods to keep them from falling into the hands of terrorists; detailed inventories must be provided to the proper authorities.  He said that the humanitarian situation in Syria would not improve unless the international community cooperated with his Government in addressing terrorism in the country and stopped other countries from supporting the terrorists.

In addition, he said, the Organization must stop producing reports that contained inaccurate information, including the use of terms such as “armed groups”, instead of “terrorist groups”.  Groups that were listed as benefiting from international support were aligned with known extremist organizations, including those also receiving Israeli support.  He stressed that all aid must be delivered in full cooperation with the Syrian Government and with full respect for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 10:30 a.m.

For information media. Not an official record.