5 June 2015

Security Council Press Statement on Attacks against Civilians in Syria

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Ramlan Bin Ibrahim (Malaysia):

The members of the Security Council were briefed by John Ging, Operations Director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, regarding the recent upsurge of violence in Aleppo.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern at the continued high level of violence in Syria and condemned all violence directed against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including medical facilities.  They expressed outrage at all attacks against civilians, as well as indiscriminate attacks, including those involving shelling and aerial bombardment, such as the use of barrel bombs, which have reportedly been extensively used in recent days in Aleppo Governorate and other areas throughout Syria, leaving many dead and injured civilians, including children.

The members of the Security Council recalled that all obligations under international humanitarian law must be respected in all circumstances by all parties.  They recalled, in particular, the obligation to distinguish between civilian populations and combatants and the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks and attacks against civilians and civilian objects.  The members of the Security Council reiterated their call on all parties to immediately implement in full the provisions of Security Council resolutions 2139 (2013), 2165 (2014) and 2191 (2014) and of the presidential statement of 2 October 2013 (S/PRST/2013/15).

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the primary responsibility of the Syrian authorities to protect the population in Syria and reiterated that parties to the armed conflict bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians.

The members of the Security Council condemned increased terrorist attacks resulting in numerous casualties and destruction carried out by ISIL [Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant], Al-Nusra Front and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida and called on all parties to commit to putting an end to terrorist acts perpetrated by such organizations and individuals.  They affirmed that Member States must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, international refugee and international humanitarian law.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.

The members of the Security Council reiterated that the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process with a view to the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012.  In that respect, they expressed their full support for the role and efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Staffan de Mistura.

For information media. Not an official record.