5 July 2018

Secretary-General ‘Gravely Concerned’ about Military Offensive in South-West Syria, Calls for Immediate End of Hostilities, Safeguarding Civilians

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General is gravely concerned by the resumption of the military offensive in south-west Syria and its continued devastating impact on civilians.  An estimated 750,000 lives are in danger and up to 325,000 people have been displaced.  The Secretary-General fully supports today’s statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.  As the custodian of the 1951 Refugee Convention, he is the authoritative voice of the United Nations on refugees.

The Secretary-General once again appeals for an immediate suspension of the hostilities and the resumption of negotiations.  He calls on all parties to take all necessary measures to safeguard civilian lives, allow freedom of movement, and protect civilian infrastructure, including medical and educational facilities, at all times, in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

The Secretary-General further reiterates his call for the United Nations to be allowed to conduct cross-border and cross line humanitarian deliveries without further delay for the benefit of people in need within Syria.

For information media. Not an official record.