18 August 2016

Note to Correspondents - Media Statement by The Office of the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura

The Special Envoy for Syria, this morning, cut short the regular International Syria Support Group (ISSG) Humanitarian Taskforce meeting, and made, on behalf of the Secretary-General, a strong appeal for a pause of at least 48-hours to deliver UN humanitarian aid to the whole city of Aleppo – a pause in fighting that has become ever more urgent as the horrific images emerging from the ground attest to.

Mr. de Mistura has since received the communication from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, stating its readiness to support his proposal of a 48-hour humanitarian pause in Aleppo.

The Special Envoy welcomes the Russian Federation statement, and the United Nations humanitarian team is now set to mobilize itself to respond to this challenge, as stated recently by Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien. Our plan is to collectively work out the operational details, and be ready for delivery as soon as possible.

The United Nations count on the Russian Federation to deliver their part, regarding, in particular, the adherence of the Syrian armed forces to the pause, once it comes into effect.

The United Nations further counts on all those with access to or influence on the armed opposition, in particular the United States, as ISSG co-chair, as well as other relevant ISSG members, to ensure that the armed opposition also respects the 48-hours humanitarian pause.