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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Russian Counter Draft on Aleppo: Fighting Terrorism, Cooperation with Syrian Government

The Members of the Security Council were briefed by the Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura and Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien on 9 August 2016.

The members of the Security Council underscored their strong resolve to combat the terrorist threat faced by Syria by all means in accordance with their obligations under the UN Charter and international law. In this regard they called on all opposition groups to immediately disengage from terrorists, halt supporting them and engaging in their actions and recalled that, according to its counterterrorism resolutions, such support or engagement may lead to further listings under its sanctions regime.

The Members of the UN Security Council reiterate their resolve to address all aspects of the dire humanitarian situation in Syria, which has deteriorated due to the increase in terrorist activities . Members of the Security Council reiterated their call for immediate, unhindered and complete humanitarian access to all areas of Syria, the immediate lifting of all sieges, including to all areas of Aleppo – regardless of the controlling party. As one element of the comprehensive efforts to achieve this, the Members of the Security Council expressed their support for the call of Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O'Brien, that all parties abide by recurring substantial pauses in fighting to ensure sustained humanitarian deliveries via cross line and cross border convoys to Aleppo can commence safely and effectively. 

The members of the Security Council underscored the imperative to ensure the exclusively humanitarian nature of convoys and called to immediately take exhaustive measures in order to prevent foreign terrorist fighters from crossing borders and stop illegal flow of weapons into Syria.

The Members of the Security Council welcomed all initiatives aimed at improving the humanitarian situation in Syria and also stressed that any humanitarian initiative must operate according to humanitarian principles and be led by impartial humanitarian actors acting in close cooperation with the government of the Syrian Arab Republic. Any proposed humanitarian initiatives for civilians to escape the fighting must be guaranteed by all sides and independently implemented and monitored, and all civilians should be guaranteed voluntary, free movement, including the right to choose their route and destination, if they choose to leave. They stressed the need to demilitarize medical facilities, schools and other civilian objects and avoid establishing military positions in populated areas and using civilian population as human shield. Humanitarian aid must be delivered to the population wherever they may be, irrespective of whether they chose to leave or remain in Aleppo.

Тhе members of the Security Council noted with appreciation that warring parties in over 300 locations throughout Syria had signed cease-fire agreements and encouraged all sides in Aleppo to follow the suit.

The members of the security council underlined that any long-term alleviation of the dire humanitarian situation cannot be achieved without lifting unilateral sanctions imposed on the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Members of the Security Council reiterated their support for the Humanitarian Task force of the International Syria Support Group and called on all parties to cooperate with its efforts to ensure immediate, unhindered and complete humanitarian access and the efforts of the ISSG members to revive the Cessation of Hostilities. Members of the Security Council noted that the aforementioned pauses will not apply to offensive or defensive actions against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), 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. 

The Members of the Security Council underscored that the situation will continue to deteriorate in the absence of a political solution and reaffirmed its support for a Syrian-led political process facilitated by the United Nations.
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