Friday, February 23, 2018

Latest draft resolution on "cessation of hostilities" in Syria

The Security Council,
        Recalling its resolutions 2042 (2012)2043 (2012)2118 (2013)2139 (2014)2165 (2014)2175 (2014)2191 (2014)2209 (2015)2235 (2015)2249 (2015)2254 (2015)2258 (2015)2268 (2016)2286 (2016)2332 (2016)2336 (2016) and 2393 (2017), and its Presidential Statements of 3 August 2011 (S/PRST/2011/16), 21 March 2012 (S/PRST/2012/6), 5 April 2012 (S/PRST/2012/10), 2 October 2013 (S/PRST/2013/15), 24 April 2015 (S/PRST/2015/10) and 17 August 2015 (S/PRST/2015/15), 
        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,
        Reiterating its grave distress at the continued severity of the devastating humanitarian situation in Syria, including in Eastern Ghouta, Idlib Governorate, Northern Hama Governorate, Rukhban and Raqqa, and at the fact that urgent humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance, is now required by more than 13.1 million people in Syria, of whom 6.1 million are internally displaced, 2.5 million are living in hard-to-reach areas, including Palestinian refugees, and hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped in besieged areas,
        Expressing outrage at the unacceptable levels of violence escalating in several parts of the country, in particular in Idlib Governorate and Eastern Ghouta but also Damascus City, including shelling on diplomatic premises, and at attacks against civilians, civilian objects and medical facilities, further compounding suffering and displacing large numbers of people, recalling in this regard the legal obligations of all parties under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as well as all relevant decisions of the Security Council, especially to cease all attacks against civilians and civilian objects, including those involving attacks on schools and medical facilities,
        Expressing concern for those returning to areas, including those retaken from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), that are contaminated by explosive remnants of war and need resilience and stabilization support and expressing disturbance at the humanitarian situation in Raqqa,
        Reiterating its deep disturbance at the lack of United Nations humanitarian access to besieged populations in recent months, expressing grave alarm at the dire situation of the hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in besieged areas in the Syrian Arab Republic, especially in Eastern Ghouta, Yarmouk, Foua and Kefraya, and reaffirming that sieges directed against civilian populations in Syria are a violation of international humanitarian law, and calling for the immediate lifting of all sieges,
        Expressing its disturbance at the humanitarian situation for  those stranded in Rukhban and stressing in this regard the need to ensure humanitarian access to Rukhban from inside Syria and the need for a sustainable solution,
        Noting the ongoing work on de-escalation areas to reduce violence as a step towards a comprehensive nation-wide ceasefire, emphasizing the need for all parties to respect their commitments to existing ceasefire agreements, and that humanitarian access must be granted as part of these efforts in accordance with international humanitarian law,
        Reaffirming that Member States must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law,
        Emphasizing that the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate further in the absence of a political solution to the Syrian conflict in line with resolution 2254 (2015)calling upon all parties to make progress in this regard and to undertake confidence-building measures, including the early release of any arbitrarily detained persons, particularly women and children,
        Expressing outrage at the insufficient implementation of its resolutions 2139 (2014)2165 (2014)2191 (2014)2258 (2015)2268 (2016)2332 (2016) and 2393 (2017),
        Determining that the devastating humanitarian situation in Syria continues to constitute a threat to peace and security in the region,
        Underscoring that Member States are obligated under Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations to accept and carry out the Council’s decisions,
        1.     Demands that all parties immediately cease hostilities for an initial period of 30 consecutive days throughout Syria to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid and services and medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded, in accordance with applicable international law;
        2.     Affirms that the cessation of hostilities shall not apply to military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), Al Qaeda and 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;
        3.     Calls upon all parties to respect and fulfil their commitments to existing ceasefire agreements, including the full implementation of resolution 2268, furthermore calls upon all Member States to use their influence with the parties to ensure implementation of the cessation of hostilities, the fulfilment of existing commitments and to support efforts to create conditions for a durable and lasting ceasefire and stresses the need for relevant guarantees from those Member States;
        4.     Calls upon all relevant Member States to coordinate efforts to monitor the cessation of hostilities, building on existing arrangements;
        5.     Further demands that, immediately after the start of the cessation of hostilities, all parties shall allow safe, unimpeded and sustained access each week for United Nations’ and their implementing partners’ humanitarian convoys, including medical and surgical supplies, to all requested areas and populations according to United Nations’ assessment of need in all parts of Syria, in particular to those 5.6 million people in 1,244 communities in acute need, including the 2.9 million people in hard-to-reach and besieged locations, subject to standard UN security assessment;
        6.     Demands moreover that, immediately after the start of the cessation of hostilities, all parties shall allow the United Nations and its implementing partners to undertake safe, unconditional medical evacuations, based on medical need and urgency, subject to standard UN security assessment;
        7.     Reiterates its demand, reminding in particular the Syrian authorities, that all parties immediately comply with their obligations under international law, including international human rights law, as applicable, and international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians as well as to ensure the respect and protection of all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities, and to fully and immediately implement all provisions of all relevant Security Council resolutions;
        8.     Demands that all parties facilitate safe and unimpeded passage for medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their equipment, transport and supplies, including surgical items, to all people in need, consistent with international humanitarian law and reiterates its demand 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;
        9.     Takes note with appreciation of the five requests identified by the Emergency Relief Coordinator on 11 January 2018 during his mission to Syria, and calls upon all parties to facilitate the implementation of these five requests and others to ensure principled, sustained and improved humanitarian assistance to Syria in 2018;
        10.    Calls upon all parties to immediately lift the sieges of populated areas, including in Eastern Ghouta, Yarmouk, Foua and Kefraya, and demands that all parties allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance, cease depriving civilians of food and medicine indispensable to their survival, and enable the rapid, safe and unhindered evacuation of all civilians who wish to leave, and underscores the need for the parties to agree on humanitarian pauses, days of tranquillity, localized ceasefires and truces to allow humanitarian agencies safe and unhindered access to all affected areas in Syria, recalling that starvation of civilians as a method of combat is prohibited by international humanitarian law;
        11.    Calls for humanitarian mine action to be accelerated as a matter of urgency throughout Syria;
        12.    Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution, and on compliance by all relevant parties in Syria, within 15 days of adoption of this resolution and thereafter within the framework of its reporting on resolutions 2139 (2014)2165 (2014)2191 (2014)2258 (2015)2332 (2016) and 2393 (2017);
        13.    Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.


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