Friday, February 7, 2014

Security Council draft resolution on humanitarian situation in Syria (Objected by Russia)

Russia objected to this draft resolution that was circulated by Luxembourg, Australia and Jordan, diplomats said. 
Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of Russia,
speaks to journalists following closed-door Security Council
consultations on Syria. Dec 2013

    6 February 2014

The Security Council,

PP1 Recalling its resolutions 2042 (2012), 2043 (2012) and 2118 (2013), and its Presidential Statements of 3 August 2011, 21 March 2012, 5 April 2012 and 2 October 2013,

PP2 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,

PP3 Recalling resolution 7717 of the Ministerial Council of the League of Arab States on 3 November 2013, in which it expressed grave concern at the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria,

PP4 Expressing outrage at the unacceptable and escalating level of violence and the death of over 136,000 people in Syria, including more than 11,000 children,

PP5 Expressing grave alarm at the significant and rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria, in particular the dire situation of hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in besieged areas, the majority of whom are besieged by the Syrian armed forces, as well as the dire situation of over 3 million people in hard-to-reach areas, and deploring the failure to provide access for the humanitarian assistance to all areas inside Syria,

PP6 Calling on all parties to respect the UN guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance and stressing the importance of such assistance being delivered on the basis of need, devoid of any political prejudices and aims, commending the efforts of the United Nations and all humanitarian and medical personnel in Syria and in neighbouring countries, and condemning all acts or threats of violence against United Nations staff and humanitarian actors, which have resulted in the death, injury and detention of many humanitarian personnel,

PP7 Expressing grave concern at the increasing number of refugees and internally displaced persons caused by the conflict in Syria, which has a destabilising impact on the entire region, andunderscoring its appreciation for the significant and admirable efforts that have been made by the countries of the region, notably Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, to accommodate the more than 2.3 million refugees who have fled Syria as a result of the on-going violence, while acknowledging the enormous political, socioeconomic and financial impact of the presence of large-scale populations in these countries,

PP8 Welcoming the pledges totalling $2.5 billion at the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, hosted by Kuwait on 15 January 2014, and expressing its appreciationto Member States and regional and sub-regional organizations that have pledged to provide humanitarian assistance to people in need in all parts of Syria, including internally displaced persons, as well as to refugees in neighbouring host countries, and calling on all Member States to ensure the timely disbursement of pledges and continued support in line with growing humanitarian needs,

PP9 Calling on all parties to end the unspeakable human suffering in Syria, save Syria’s rich societal mosaic and cultural heritage, and take appropriate steps to ensure the protection of Syria’s World Heritage Sites,

PP10 Expressing its deepest regret that its Presidential Statement of 2 October 2013 (S/PRST/2013/15) has not translated into significant progress or action on the ground and that humanitarian aid delivery continues to be impeded throughout Syria, while condemning all cases of denial of humanitarian access and recalling that arbitrary denial of humanitarian access and depriving civilians of objects indispensable to their survival, including wilfully impeding relief supply and access, can constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law,

1.     Condemns the widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Syrian authorities, as well as any human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by armed groups, including all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as all grave violations and abuses committed against children in contravention of applicable international law, such as recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape, attacks on schools and hospitals as well as arbitrary arrest, detention, torture, ill treatment and use as human shields, as documented in the United Nations Secretary-General report on children and armed conflict in Syria (S/2014/31);

2.     Demands that all parties immediately put an end to all forms of violence, cease and desist from all violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, and reaffirm their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and stresses that some of these violations may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity;

3.     Demands that the Syrian authorities immediately cease all aerial bombardment in populated areas as well as the indiscriminate employment of weapons, use of explosive weapons, projectiles and material, such as SCUD missiles, cluster and barrel bombs, against civilians, and methods of warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering, and recalls in this regard the obligation to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law in all circumstances, and recalls, in particular, the obligation to distinguish between civilian populations and combatants, and the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks, and attacks against civilians and civilian objects as such;

Full Implementation of the 2 October 2013 Presidential Statement

4.     Demands that all parties implement fully the provisions of the 2 October 2013 Statement by the President of the Security Council (S/PRST/2013/15), and further demands that the Syrian authorities take immediate steps to facilitate the expansion of humanitarian relief operations, as called for in its Presidential Statement;

Ending Sieges and Facilitating Access to Besieged and Hard-To-Reach Areas

5.     Demands that all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, immediately end the sieges of the Old City of Homs (Homs), Nubl and Zahra (Aleppo), Madamiyet Elsham (Rural Damascus), Yarmouk (Damascus), Eastern Ghouta (Rural Damascus), Darayya (Rural Damascus) and other locations, to allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance, immediately end the use of starvation as a method of combat, and enable the rapid, safe and unhindered evacuation of all civilians who wish to leave, and underscoresthe need for the parties to agree on humanitarian pauses, days of tranquillity, localised cease-fires and truces to allow humanitarian agencies rapid, safe and unhindered access to all affected areas in Syria;

6.     Also demands that the Syrian authorities promptly facilitate rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need through the most effective ways, including across conflict lines and across borders from neighbouring countries, and lift all restrictions on cross-border humanitarian access, in particular, via Turkey and Iraq, and stresses, in this regard, the particularly urgent need for the Syrian authorities to reopen the Yariba border crossing with Iraq;

7.     Further demands that all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, take all appropriate steps to facilitate the efforts of the United Nations, its specialized agencies, the League of Arab States and all humanitarian actors engaged in humanitarian relief activities, to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the affected people in Syria, including by promptly facilitating rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to civilians in need of assistance in all areas under their control, and encourages further cooperation between the United Nations, its specialized agencies and all parties concerned, including Syrian civil society organisations, to facilitate access and the delivery of assistance in the entirety of the Syrian territory;

Demilitarization of Civilian Infrastructure and Medical Neutrality

8.     Demands that all parties respect the principle of medical neutrality and facilitate free passage to all areas for medical personnel, equipment, transport and supplies, including surgical items and reproductive health supplies, and recalls that under international humanitarian law, the wounded and sick must receive, to the fullest extent practicable, and with the least possible delay, medical care and attention required by their condition and that medical and humanitarian personnel, facilities and transport must be respected and protected, and condemns in this regard the removal of medical supplies from humanitarian shipments;

9.     Also demands that all parties take all appropriate steps to protect civilians and stressesthat, in this regard, the primary responsibility to protect its population lies with the Syrian authorities, and further demands 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;

Arbitrary Detention and Torture

10.  Condemns the continued arbitrary detention and torture of civilians in Syria, notably in the prisons and detention facilities of the Syrian authorities, as well as the kidnappings, abductions and forced disappearances, and demands that all parties immediately end these practices and release all arbitrarily detained persons starting with women and children, as well as sick, wounded and elderly people and including UN personnel;


11.  Stresses the need to end impunity for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, reaffirms that those who have committed or are otherwise responsible for such violations and abuses in Syria must be brought to justice, andrecalls the relevance of the International Criminal Court to hold accountable those responsible for such war crimes and crimes against humanity;

Terrorism and Foreign Fighters

12.  Condemns the increased terrorist attacks resulting in numerous casualties and destruction carried out by organisations and individuals associated with Al-Qaeda, urges the opposition forces to maintain their rejection of these organisations and individuals which are responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law in opposition-held areas, demands that all foreign fighters immediately withdraw from Syria, including Hizballah and Quds Force, and reaffirms, in this regard, that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed;

Lasting Solution to the Syrian Conflict

13.  Emphasizes that the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate in the absence of a political solution, welcomes in this regard the ongoing Geneva Conference on Syria, anddemands that all parties work towards the comprehensive implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 leading to a genuine political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and enables them independently and democratically to determine their own future, and further stresses that rapid progress on a political solution should include full participation by women and represents the only sustainable opportunity to resolve the situation in Syria peacefully, and that the implementation of this resolution is key to meeting the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people;

Humanitarian Appeals

14.  Urges all Member States to contribute or increase their support to the United Nations’ humanitarian appeals to meet the spiralling needs of people affected by the crisis, and to provide this support in coordination with the relevant United Nations agencies, and to ensure that all pledges are honoured in full, and further urges all Member States, based on burden sharing principles, to support the neighbouring host countries to enable them to respond to the growing humanitarian needs, including by providing direct support;

Monitoring Implementation of this Resolution and the 2 October 2013 Presidential Statement

15.  Expresses its intent, if the demands in paragraphs 2 through 10 are not met within 15 days, to impose measures under Article 41 of the Charter targeting those individuals and entities obstructing the implementation of the above paragraphs, including those who obstruct humanitarian assistance, commit or threaten violence, including against United Nations personnel and humanitarian actors, deny humanitarian access, or fail to facilitate rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to civilians in need of assistance in all areas under their control and across conflict lines;

16.  Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution by all parties in Syria, in particular paragraphs 2 through 10, and to identify individuals and entities who are obstructing the implementation of this resolution, within 20 days of its adoption and every 30 days thereafter;

17.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

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