New York

16 May 2014

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Syria

The Secretary-General is concerned by reports that water supplies in the city of Aleppo were deliberately cut off by armed groups for eight days, depriving at least 2.5 million people of access to safe water for drinking and sanitation.

The Secretary-General notes that preventing people's access to safe water is a denial of a fundamental human right.  Deliberate targeting of civilians and depriving them of essential supplies is a clear breach of international humanitarian and human rights law.

While water supplies have since been restored, the Secretary-General urges all parties to ensure that the water supply in Aleppo - and everywhere in Syria -  is permanently restored and to refrain from targeting civilian facilities and infrastructure. He asks Member States and those with influence over all the parties to the conflict to remind them of their obligations.