Urges Security Council to Renew Authorization for Lifesaving Cross-Border Aid Delivery in Syria, un.org

The scale of humanitarian needs in Syria will remain vast in 2020, with an estimated 11 million civilians projected to require assistance on a regular basis and 5 million in acute need of help, a senior humanitarian official told the Security Council today, urging that a mandate for the cross-border delivery of vital aid through neighbouring countries be renewed. […]

In the ensuing debate, sharp differences emerged on the future direction of the cross‑border mechanism, mirroring the deep divisions within the 15‑member Council over the conflict in Syria that erupted in 2011.

Germany’s representative, also speaking for Kuwait, Belgium and other co‑sponsors of the draft resolution to renew authorization for cross‑border aid, said the United Nations must have a green light to access all areas in which people need help.  “Millions of people in need count on your support,” he said, emphasizing that there is no alternative to renewing the cross‑border mandate. […]

However, the Russian Federation’s representative said the Idlib area remains a hotbed of international terrorism, as radicals shell and kill many civilians, including children, and target civilian infrastructure.  On the cross‑border delivery of aid, he described the many changes that have taken place in border areas of Syria, which makes it possible for aid to transit through official checkpoints.  However, supplies to Idlib should continue to go through the Turkish border, he noted.

China’s delegate said Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity must be respected and that eliminating terrorist forces is a prerequisite for Syrians to resume a normal life.  He expressed reservations, though, about the cross‑border mechanism, saying it is a special measure that should be evaluated and adjusted in light of developments on the ground. […]

Syria’s representative said Germany, Belgium and Kuwait, through their draft resolution, are ignoring the fact that most humanitarian assistance winds up in the hands of terrorists.  He added that, after nine years of terrorist war imposed on Syria, those Governments which created the situation are refusing to acknowledge the problem.  Sovereignty must be respected, unilateral coercive measures must be lifted and the illegal presence of United States forces in oil‑ and gas‑producing areas must end, he said. Läs referatet från säkerhetsrådet