Security Council Demands 30-day Cessation of Hostilities in Syria to Enable Humanitarian Aid Delivery, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2401 (2018)

SC/13221
24 February 2018
8188th Meeting (PM)

Security Council Demands 30-day Cessation of Hostilities in Syria to Enable Humanitarian Aid Delivery, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2401 (2018)

The Security Council, acting unanimously today, adopted a resolution demanding parties to Syria’s seven-year-long conflict to cease hostilities without delay for at least 30 consecutive days, ensuring a “durable humanitarian pause” to enable weekly humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded.

By the terms of resolution 2401 (2018), the 15-member Council demanded that, immediately after the start of the cessation of hostilities, all parties would allow safe, unimpeded and sustained access each week for the humanitarian convoys of the United Nations and their implementing partners to all requested areas and populations — particularly the 5.6 million people in 1,244 communities in acute need and the 2.9 million in hard-to-reach and besieged locations, subject to standard United Nations security assessments.  It also demanded that the United Nations and its partners be allowed to carry out safe, unconditional medical evacuations, based on medical need and urgency.

The Council further called upon all parties to immediately lift the sieges of populated areas — including in eastern Ghouta, Yarmouk, Foua and Kefraya — and cease depriving civilians of essential food and medicine, which when used as a method of combat was an act prohibited by international humanitarian law.  It demanded that the parties enable the rapid, safe and unhindered evacuation of all civilians who wished to leave — underscoring the need for them to agree on humanitarian pauses, days of tranquillity, localized ceasefires and truces — and called for the urgent acceleration of humanitarian mine action throughout Syria.

Affirming that the cessation of hostilities would not apply to military operations against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), Al-Qaida, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with terrorist groups, as designated by the Council, the organ further called on relevant Member States to coordinate efforts to monitor the cessation of hostilities, building on existing arrangements.  It called on all Member States to use their influence with the parties to ensure its implementation and create conditions for a durable and lasting ceasefire. 

By other terms of the text, the Council reiterated its demand — reminding the Syrian authorities in particular — that all parties immediately comply with their obligations under international law concerning protecting civilians and medical and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties along with their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities.  It also reiterated its demand that they demilitarize medical facilities, schools and other civilian facilities; avoid establishing military positions in populated areas; and desist from attacks directed at civilian objects.

As Council members took the floor, many roundly welcomed the resolution’s unanimous adoption, emphasizing that the rare “moment of unity” could prove a critical turning point in the Council’s response to the longstanding tragedy unfolding in Syria.  Some, however, expressed concern about the lengthy negotiations required to reach consensus, as well as scepticism that parties on the ground would adhere to its terms.

“There is a glimmer of hope today,” said France’s delegate, emphasizing that the humanitarian pause required by the resolution was a matter of life and death, especially following the escalation of violence over recent weeks in eastern Ghouta.  However, the 30-day cessation of hostilities was only the first step and a minimum response.  It was now up to supporters of the Assad regime to fully respect it, he said, warning that “nothing would be worse than seeing this resolution remain a dead letter.”   Appealing for its full implementation, he said the truce could be used as leverage to break the deadlock and create a neutral environment for a credible political process.

The representative of the United States, while also welcoming the resolution’s adoption, voiced deep concern that the Russian Federation had stalled its progress numerous times over recent days.  “Every minute the Council waited on Russia, the human suffering grew,” she said, noting that the text’s co-sponsors, Kuwait and Sweden, had a version prepared much earlier in the week.  “Why did the Council allow this?” she asked, adding that while the delegates present did not know the names and faces of those who suffered on the ground, “they know us”.  The Council must seize this moment of unity and make it a turning point in which the Russian Federation joined the international community, she said, calling on all parties to adhere to the ceasefire “with no excuses”.

The United Kingdom’s representative agreed that “this is not a moment for self-congratulation”.  It had taken far too long to adopt today’s resolution, he stressed, noting that the Council’s many years of discussion on the Syrian conflict had yet to achieve the peace and stability so desperately needed by that country’s people.  In the face of escalating violence and suffering, all must take practical steps to relieve the suffering of those living in “a hell of one man’s making”.  The Council’s role and responsibility did not end with the passage of today’s text, but was just beginning, he said, urging all Member States — especially Council members — to ensure that their demands were implemented “from the moment we step out of this room”. 

Other speakers, noting that earlier versions of the resolution had contained unrealistic elements that would not be implemented by the parties to the conflict, said the Council continued to ignore grave terrorist threats against Damascus that emanated from eastern Ghouta.  Others also expressed concern over escalating rhetoric and threats of aggression against Syria.

The Russian Federation’s representative, noting that his delegation supported the text in so far as it encouraged the Syrian parties to the conflict to halt hostilities, said any language on an immediate cessation of hostilities would be impossible without agreement from the warring parties.  That kind of unrealistic approach would not help to address the pressing humanitarian situation, he stressed, calling instead for demands that were underpinned by concrete, on-the-ground agreements.  Some external sponsors of the illicit armed factions were falling short in that regard and were at times deliberately skirting their obligations.  While the Russian Federation was proactively lending humanitarian assistance, its embassy in Damascus had been frequently attacked by rebels, and the dire situation in that city required urgent action.

Syria’s representative, stressing that the horrific stories outlined by some speakers omitted descriptions of the many crimes they themselves had perpetrated, said his Government had taken seriously and observed all de-escalation initiatives in order to protect the lives of its citizens.  Calling on all States to sever ties with terrorist groups — whose violations had become increasingly serious and now threatened the lives of 8 million people in Damascus — he declared: “We bear the responsibility as a State for our citizens, and we have a right to counter-terrorism.”  Indeed, Syria had the right to defend itself according to Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, he said, urging the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France to stop devising plans — reminiscent of their colonial pasts — aimed at dividing his country. 

Also speaking were the representatives of Sweden, Kuwait, China, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Poland, Equatorial Guinea, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Peru and Côte d’Ivoire.

The meeting began at 2:11 p.m. and ended at 3:34 p.m.

Action on Draft Resolution

OLOF SKOOG (Sweden), speaking ahead of the vote, said that the key component of the draft resolution was a nationwide cessation of hostilities for at least 30 days.  The United Nations convoys and evacuation teams were ready to go.  The text resolution also called for the immediate lifting of siege areas, and all parties had an obligation to act in accordance with international law.  The draft made an exception for action against bodies designated as terrorist groups by the Security Council.  Parties in Syria should uphold their obligations under international law at all times.  The draft was not a comprehensive peace deal on Syria, he stressed, and its aim was purely humanitarian.  If the resolution was adopted, it would save lives and break the deadlock on humanitarian access.  The situation in the country had deteriorated further, particularly in eastern Ghouta.  After seven years of war, the plight of innocent civilians had never been worse.  There was an opportunity to turn things around today.  The resolution was an attempt for the Council to take decisive and immediate action.

The Council then adopted the text as resolution 2401 (2018) by a vote of 15 in favour to none against with zero abstentions.

Statements

MANSOUR AYYAD SH. A. ALOTAIBI (Kuwait), Council President for February, spoke in his national capacity, saying the text’s unanimous adoption following long negotiations had renewed the hope that the Council could agree on solutions to alleviate suffering in Syria.  Thanking all those that had voted in favour of the text, he said its most important elements were its demand that the parties cease hostilities without delay; that they allow the United Nations and its partners to deliver aid in a safe and unimpeded manner; and calls on all parties to lift the siege of populated areas, including eastern Ghouta.  While the text would not end the humanitarian suffering in Syria immediately, it sent the signal that the Council was united in that effort.  “Now, we must implement this resolution to save the lives of the Syrian people,” he said, adding that much work remained to end the tragedy that was now entering its seventh year.  A political solution was the only path forward in that respect, he stressed, adding that Kuwait supported the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group’s code of conduct in which Council members pledged not to obstruct resolutions in cases of war crimes and crime against humanity, as well as the related French-Mexican proposal relating to cases of mass atrocities. 

NIKKI R. HALEY (United States), quoting the pleas of doctors working on the ground in eastern Ghouta, said they lacked everything from water to food to medical supplies, and that “everyone is just waiting to die.”  The Council had finally taken a step to end that suffering today.  It was critical that the Assad regime and its allies end their assault on eastern Ghouta and allow the delivery of critical humanitarian aid.  The Council was very late to address the issue, she stressed, noting that that the delegations of Kuwait and Sweden had had a version of the draft resolution ready earlier in the week, but that the Russian Federation had stalled its progress numerous times over recent days.  “Every minute the Council waited on Russia, the human suffering grew,” she stressed.  Indeed, holding the vote had become a moral imperative for all States, but not for Syria, the Russian Federation and Iran.  Asking how many deaths had occurred in the three days it took to adopt the text, she said nothing but a few words and commas had changed in all that time.   “Why did the Council allow this?” she asked, adding that while the delegates present did not know the names and faces of those who suffered on the ground, “they know us”. 

The Council must seize this moment of unity and make it a turning point in which the Russian Federation joined the international community, she said.  In addition, all parties must adhere to the ceasefire “with no excuses” and the Assad regime must finally change its course, ending the bombings of civilians under the pretext of counterterrorism.  All eyes would now be on the Assad regime, Iran and Syria.  While the United States remained deeply sceptical that they would comply with the resolution, it was committed to standing firm and making its demands a reality.  All Council members must do the same, she stressed, adding: “The Syrian people have waited long enough.”

VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) supported the resolution in so far as it encouraged the Syrian parties to the conflict to halt hostilities.  It had taken much time to reach an agreement due to the fact that his delegation did not support what was enshrined in the text regarding an immediate cessation of hostilities, because as it stood, it was not possible to carry out those instructions without any agreement from the warring parties in Syria.  That kind of unrealistic approach would not help to address the pressing humanitarian situation.  The Council’s demands should be underpinned by concrete, on the ground agreements, he said, stressing that it would be naïve to think that complex issues could be dealt with overnight.  Some external sponsors of the illicit armed factions were falling short in that regard and at times deliberately skirting their obligations.  The Russian Federation was proactively lending humanitarian assistance.  The resolution explicitly stated that it did not apply to military operations against groups acknowledged as terrorist groups by the Council.  International players should coordinate in that matter, including with the Government of Syria, in compliance with international law and respect for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  

Humanitarian assistance must to be delivered through the most direct routes, he said, stressing that the resolution had called for an immediate expedition of humanitarian actors linked to mine action.  There was also a clear identification of flash points in the conflict that were not limited to eastern Ghouta.  The Russian embassy had been struck frequently and there had been outrage at the shelling of Damascus by rebels.  The humanitarian situation was dire and required urgent measures.  Yet the capitals of some countries continued to condition assistance on certain steps not limited to the five requests of the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, but to a far broader agenda.  He trusted that United Nations agencies would act clearly to comply with requests of the Government of Syria.  He also voiced deep concern over the public statements of certain United States officials who threatened aggression against Syria.  “We will not countenance any subjective interpretation of the resolution that was just adopted,” he said, and demanded “an end to this reckless rhetoric”.

FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) welcomed the text’s unanimous adoption, noting that Council members had managed to make headway in the name of the humanitarian imperative.  It was a matter of life and death.  As was stated forcefully last Wednesday by the President of France and the United Nations Secretary-General, it was urgent to put an end to the shelling of eastern Ghouta, Idlib and all of Syria.  The President of France and Chancellor of Germany had delivered that demand on Friday to the President of the Russian Federation.  The adoption of the resolution was the fruit of concerted efforts and a belated step forward, following the unleashing of violence against civilians in eastern Ghouta and elsewhere.  The cessation of hostilities for an initial period of 30 days was the very first step and a minimum response.  It was now up to supporters of the Assad regime to fully respect it, he said, calling on the Astana guarantors to ensure the regime halted its actions.  “Nothing would be worse than seeing this resolution remain a dead letter,” he stressed.  France would remain extremely vigilant in the hours and days to come. It was ready to continue working assiduously with partners to return stability to Syria.  He appealed for full implementation of the resolution without delay and for using the truce as leverage to break the deadlock in Syria and create a neutral environment for a credible political process to take place.  “There is a glimmer of hope today, let us seize on this moment,” he said.

STEPHEN HICKEY (United Kingdom) warned that “this is not a moment for self-congratulation”.  It had taken far too long to adopt today’s resolution, he stressed, noting that the Council’s many years of discussion on the Syrian conflict had yet to achieve the peace and stability so desperately needed by that country’s people.  Indeed, the barbarity and depravity of the Assad regime still showed no limits, he said, urging Council members to always remember that the stories they discussed represented the real lives of human beings.  A doctor just this morning, having heard the situation in eastern Ghouta described as propaganda, had said that even among the bombs and explosions “it is the not being believed that almost hurts the most”.  In the face of escalating violence and suffering, all must take practical steps to relieve the suffering of those living in “a hell of one man’s making”.  The Council’s’ role and responsibility did not end with the passage of today’s text, but was just beginning, he said, urging all Member States — especially Council members — to ensure that their demands were implemented “from the moment we step out of this room”.  The Russian Federation, Iran and others with influence over the parties must exert it, he said, adding that “this is only a small step”.  All States must send a clear signal to the Assad regime, demanding that it abandon its military actions and immediately engage in a United Nations-led dialogue.

MA ZHAOXU (China), condemning all acts of violence targeting civilians and civilian objects, welcomed the resolution’s unanimous adoption.  The text contained several important elements including respect for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the protection of civilians and ensuring delivery of humanitarian aid.  Noting that China had played a constructive role in building the consensus, he said the text reflected the broadest possible consensus among Council members.  The Council, speaking with one voice, would now help ease the suffering and consolidate momentum in both ceasefire and counter-terrorism efforts, as well as in the overarching political process.  To fundamentally improve the humanitarian situation on the ground, a Syrian-owned and Syrian-led political negotiation was “the only way out” and the Council must remain united.

KAIRAT UMAROV (Kazakhstan) said that his delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolution on the cessation of hostilities in Syria.  The position of his country was consistent.  Stability in the Middle East could be achieved through peaceful means, and he endorsed the Secretary-General’s unequivocal support for immediately ending hostilities because eastern Ghouta could not wait.  In the past few days, Governments around the world had called upon the Government of Syria to observe human rights.  In addition, external incitement fuelled tension and should stop immediately so that it did not endanger regional security.  His country’s Foreign Minister hoped his counterparts of the guarantor States of the Astana process would take additional constructive steps to implement the ceasefire agreements and de-escalation zones in Syria at the meeting scheduled to take place in the Kazakh capital in mid-March or earlier.

KAREL JAN GUSTAAF VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands) welcomed the unanimous adoption of the resolution.  Now action on the ground was needed.  All Member States had an obligation to ensure that the words of the resolution were implemented swiftly.  The resolution meant that all parties must cease hostilities without delay, and there must be sustainable humanitarian pauses for 30 days.  If implemented, the resolution meant the cessation of hostilities, the delivery of humanitarian aid, and the carrying out of urgent medical evacuations.  It was the first step in the right direction, but more was needed.  The Council should remain seized of the matter and should reconvene without delay if the situation demanded it.

JOANNA WRONECKA (Poland) said that she commended the work of Sweden and Kuwait as penholders of the humanitarian resolution.  They had done their best to accommodate all Council members’ concerns.  On Wednesday, she had stressed that it was the Council’s responsibility to ensure that it would not fail to effectively address the situation in Syria.  They had managed today to adopt the resolution by consensus.  The innocent people in Syria had waited far too long.  All parties, especially those with influence, must make every effort to implement it.  It was not only a legal obligation to act now, but also a moral duty.

ANATOLIO NDONG MBA (Equatorial Guinea) declared: “It is never too late, if we are on the right track”.  Now before the Council was the task of successfully implementing the provisions of the text just adopted.  Calling on all parties, and on the United Nations and others involved in the devastating conflict, to “leave no stone unturned” in their efforts to save human lives and alleviate suffering, he said the text’s adoption partially saved Council members from the shame of inaction.  Only its effective implementation would save it from even further shame. 

PEDRO LUIS INCHAUSTE JORDÁN (Bolivia) said, seven years into the conflict in Syria, the suffering of the country’s population continued to worsen.  No lasting peace could be reached so long as military tactics prevailed over political solutions.  Welcoming today’s adoption, he said the text’s timely implementation would make it possible to help alleviate the suffering of civilians.  As Bolivia had long stressed, the Council’s consensus and unity were pivotal to improving the situation in Syria.  Reiterating his delegation’s support to such negotiation processes as the Geneva and Astana frameworks and the Sochi dialogue, he said the gains achieved in those forums must be fully respected by all parties.

TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia) said that he voted in favour of the resolution because he believed it could make a positive difference and alleviate the continued tragedy of the Syrian people.  It was clear that what was required from the Council was concrete and collective action, and it had sent the right signal.  There could now be unimpeded humanitarian access for all Syrians in need.  He expressed his sincere appreciation to the delegations of Kuwait and Sweden, who did excellent work in accommodating the concerns of all delegations.  He hoped that the positive spirit of the negotiations would prevail in ensuring the implementation of the resolution, as well as lay the basis for greater mutual understanding for all those with enormous influence over the situation in Syria.

GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) said the resolution would allow the cessation of hostilities without delay in Syria, and would allow for the urgent provision of humanitarian assistance.  The Council must remain united in shouldering its responsibilities.  His delegation endorsed the resolution and would closely monitor its implementation by all parties involved.  He expressed solidarity with the victims of the violence in Syria and admiration for the humanitarian workers deployed on the ground.  He hoped that the important step taken today by the Council would bolster the search for a lasting solution to the Syrian conflict.

BERNARD TANOH-BOUTCHOUE (Côte d’Ivoire) applauded the initiators of the humanitarian resolution that had just been adopted.  He welcomed that resolution, as it demanded the cessation of hostilities without delay.  That demand needed to be upheld by all actors on all battlefields in Syria.  He also appreciated the efforts taken by all stakeholders with a view to arriving at a consensus without the Council.  The stakes were to save and extricate the Syrian people from the horrific war plaguing that country.  Côte d’Ivoire remained convinced that an enduring end to the conflict alone through negotiations could enable all Syrians to restore peace, achieve reconciliation and rebuild their country socially and economically.  The 30-day truce could be the beginning of a process of the pacification of Syria, he said.

BASHAR JA'AFARI (Syria) said “moderate armed groups” based in Ghouta had targeted thousands of missiles at Damascus, attacking, among other locations, the headquarters of the Syrian Red Crescent.  Quoting a French citizen’s description of those attacks, and of others in recent years, he said doctors and other personnel had also been kidnapped by armed groups.  The delegate of France had today said that a truce must be observed.  While that was true, 29 other Council resolutions — including 13 on counter-terrorism — must also be implemented.  The delegate of the United Kingdom had presented horrific tales, but had omitted descriptions of those perpetrated by his own Government in Iraq, Palestine, Libya and even the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).  The Syrian Government had taken seriously and observed all de-escalation initiatives in order to protect the lives of its citizens and stop those “trading with their blood”, he said, calling on all States to sever any ties with terrorist groups in the country.  The Syrian Government retained the right to respond to attacks by such groups, he said, noting that some Council members supported those groups and even practiced State terrorism. 

While the Syrian Government continued to practice extreme self-restraint, he said, the violations perpetrated by terrorist groups had become increasingly serious and now threatened the lives of 8 million people in Damascus.  “We bear the responsibility as a State for our citizens, and we have a right to counter-terrorism,” he said.  Syria had exercised its legitimate right, taking measures to protect civilians and allowing the safe exit of civilians.  Describing the White Helmets as the new representatives of the Al-Nusra Front, he called for full respect for his country’s sovereignty and for full consultation with its Government on all matters affecting it.  However, such core international principles were ignored, lost to political whims and double standards when it came to Syria.  Countries must stop spending millions of dollars to support terrorists, he said, noting that to date the United States alone had spent $4 billion in Syria.  Indeed, the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France must stop devising strategic plans — reminiscent of their colonial times — aimed at dividing his country.  Syria had the right to defend itself according to Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, he said, emphasizing that double standards based on financial polarization, if unabated, would continue to mar the Organization’s reputation.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2401 (2018) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 2042 (2012), 2043 (2012), 2118 (2013), 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2175 (2014), 2191 (2014), 2209 (2015), 2235 (2015), 2249 (2015), 2254 (2015), 2258 (2015), 2268 (2016), 2286 (2016), 2332 (2016), 2336 (2016) and 2393 (2017), and its Presidential Statements of 3 August 2011 (S/PRST/2011/16), 21 March 2012 (S/PRST/2012/6), 5 April 2012 (S/PRST/2012/10), 2 October 2013 (S/PRST/2013/15), 24 April 2015 (S/PRST/2015/10) and 17 August 2015 (S/PRST/2015/15),

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Reiterating its grave distress at the continued severity of the devastating humanitarian situation in Syria, including in Eastern Ghouta, Idlib Governorate, Northern Hama Governorate, Rukhban and Raqqa, and at the fact that urgent humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance, is now required by more than 13.1 million people in Syria, of whom 6.1 million are internally displaced, 2.5 million are living in hard-to-reach areas, including Palestinian refugees, and hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped in besieged areas,

Expressing outrage at the unacceptable levels of violence escalating in several parts of the country, in particular in Idlib Governorate and Eastern Ghouta but also Damascus City, including shelling on diplomatic premises, and at attacks against civilians, civilian objects and medical facilities, further compounding suffering and displacing large numbers of people, recalling in this regard the legal obligations of all parties under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as well as all relevant decisions of the Security Council, especially to cease all attacks against civilians and civilian objects, including those involving attacks on schools and medical facilities,

Expressing concern for those returning to areas, including those retaken from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), that are contaminated by explosive remnants of war and need resilience and stabilization support and expressing disturbance at the humanitarian situation in Raqqa,

Reiterating its deep disturbance at the lack of United Nations humanitarian access to besieged populations in recent months, expressing grave alarm at the dire situation of the hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in besieged areas in the Syrian Arab Republic, especially in Eastern Ghouta, Yarmouk, Foua and Kefraya, and reaffirming that sieges directed against civilian populations in Syria are a violation of international humanitarian law, and calling for the immediate lifting of all sieges,

Expressing its disturbance at the humanitarian situation for the internally displaced persons in Rukhban and stressing in this regard the need to ensure humanitarian access to Rukhban from inside Syria and the need for a sustainable solution,

Noting the ongoing work on de-escalation areas to reduce violence as a step towards a comprehensive nation-wide ceasefire, emphasizing the need for all parties to respect their commitments to existing ceasefire agreements, and that humanitarian access must be granted as part of these efforts in accordance with international humanitarian law,

Reaffirming 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, refugee and humanitarian law,

Emphasizing that the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate further in the absence of a political solution to the Syrian conflict in line with resolution 2254 (2015), calling upon all parties to make progress in this regard and to undertake confidence-building measures, including the early release of any arbitrarily detained persons, particularly women and children,

Expressing outrage at the insufficient implementation of its resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2191 (2014), 2258 (2015), 2268 (2016), 2332 (2016) and 2393 (2017),

Determining that the devastating humanitarian situation in Syria continues to constitute a threat to peace and security in the region,

Underscoring that Member States are obligated under Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations to accept and carry out the Council’s decisions,

“1.   Demands that all parties cease hostilities without delay, and engage immediately to ensure full and comprehensive implementation of this demand by all parties, for a durable humanitarian pause for at least 30 consecutive days throughout Syria, to enable the safe, unimpeded and sustained delivery of humanitarian aid and services and medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded, in accordance with applicable international law;

“2.   Affirms that the cessation of hostilities shall not apply to military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), Al Qaeda and Al Nusra Front (ANF), and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al Qaeda or ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the Security Council;

“3.   Calls upon all parties to respect and fulfil their commitments to existing ceasefire agreements, including the full implementation of resolution 2268, furthermore calls upon all Member States to use their influence with the parties to ensure implementation of the cessation of hostilities, the fulfilment of existing commitments and to support efforts to create conditions for a durable and lasting ceasefire and stresses the need for relevant guarantees from those Member States;

“4.   Calls upon all relevant Member States to coordinate efforts to monitor the cessation of hostilities, building on existing arrangements;

“5.   Further demands that, immediately after the start of the cessation of hostilities, all parties shall allow safe, unimpeded and sustained access each week for United Nations’ and their implementing partners’ humanitarian convoys, including medical and surgical supplies, to all requested areas and populations according to United Nations’ assessment of need in all parts of Syria, in particular to those 5.6 million people in 1,244 communities in acute need, including the 2.9 million people in hard-to-reach and besieged locations, subject to standard UN security assessment;

“6.   Demands moreover that, immediately after the start of the cessation of hostilities, all parties shall allow the United Nations and its implementing partners to undertake safe, unconditional medical evacuations, based on medical need and urgency, subject to standard UN security assessment;

“7.   Reiterates its demand, reminding in particular the Syrian authorities, that all parties immediately comply with their obligations under international law, including international human rights law, as applicable, and international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians as well as to ensure the respect and protection of all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities, and to fully and immediately implement all provisions of all relevant Security Council resolutions;

“8.   Demands that all parties facilitate safe and unimpeded passage for medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their equipment, transport and supplies, including surgical items, to all people in need, consistent with international humanitarian law and reiterates its demand that all parties demilitarize medical facilities, schools and other civilian facilities and avoid establishing military positions in populated areas and desist from attacks directed against civilian objects;

“9.   Takes note with appreciation of the five requests identified by the Emergency Relief Coordinator on 11 January 2018 during his mission to Syria, and calls upon all parties to facilitate the implementation of these five requests and others to ensure principled, sustained and improved humanitarian assistance to Syria in 2018;

“10.  Calls upon all parties to immediately lift the sieges of populated areas, including in Eastern Ghouta, Yarmouk, Foua and Kefraya, and demands that all parties allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance, cease depriving civilians of food and medicine indispensable to their survival, and enable the rapid, safe and unhindered evacuation of all civilians who wish to leave, and underscores the need for the parties to agree on humanitarian pauses, days of tranquillity, localized ceasefires and truces to allow humanitarian agencies safe and unhindered access to all affected areas in Syria, recalling that starvation of civilians as a method of combat is prohibited by international humanitarian law;

“11.  Calls for humanitarian mine action to be accelerated as a matter of urgency throughout Syria;

“12.  Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution, and on compliance by all relevant parties in Syria, within 15 days of adoption of this resolution and thereafter within the framework of its reporting on resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2191 (2014), 2258 (2015), 2332 (2016) and 2393 (2017);

“13.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

For information media. Not an official record.