U.N. Security Council Resolution for Urgent Humanitarian Aid in Syria
Despite the objections and criticisms raised by the government of Syria, as defining the resolution as an infringement of the country’s sovereignty, the United Nations Security Council today unanimously approved a Resolution 2139 (2014) to boost humanitarian aid access in Syria. Russia and China, which have backed Mr. Assad and vetoed previous attempts, voted for the Resolution, joining the three other permanent members of the Council, Britain, France and the United States.
Nearly half of Syria’s population, are now in need of humanitarian assistance because of the four year-long internal war. According to the Humanitarian Information Unit, 9.3 million people are estimated to be in need of assistance inside Syria, including more than 6.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Delivering the humanitarian aid to Syrians was a complicated and limited due to the several factors. The most important one is the limitations of government of Syria, in other words, approval of the government of Syria was needed. However, with final Resolution, such an approval is not required anymore. Because of first the lack of political will to solve problem and secondly a huge amount of territory and Syrians are now living the territory not controled by government of Syria. Nevertheless the UN refugee agency has launched, about a month, ago a series of daily flights from Damascus to the northeast of Syria to bring emergency aid to 50,000 Syrians displaced by the fighting inside their country.
According to the UNHCR, 440 tonnes of supplies – taking up 2,000 cubic meters of space – include 50,000 fleece blankets, 10,000 plastic sheets, 30,000 sleeping mats, 10,000 jerry cans, 10,000 kitchen sets, 10,000 hygiene kits, 20,000 sanitary napkins, and 32,000 baby and adult diapers.
This operation follows three previous airlifts by UNHCR to Hassakeh Governorate between mid-2013 and February 2014, as well as land transport through the Nussaybin/Qamishly border crossing from Turkey. Those operations delivered humanitarian assistance to 150,000 IDPs in the Governorate plus vaccines for more than 500,000 children.
Resolution 2139: Strengthened Humanitarian Aid
Through Resolution, the Council demanded “that all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, promptly allow rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for UN humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners, including across conflict lines and across borders”.
In the Resolution, first of all the Council;
“strongly condemned the widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Syrian authorities, as well as the human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by armed groups and Demands that all parties immediately put an end to all forms of violence, irrespective of where it comes from, 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.”
More significantly, Council;
“calls upon all parties to immediately lift the sieges of populated areas, including in 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 and demands that all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, promptly allow rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners.”
Moreover, it is the first time that Council addressed the possibly consequences of the violations by stressing,
“the need to end impunity for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, and reaffirms that those who have committed or are otherwise responsible for such violations and abuses in Syria must be brought to justice.”
The Council has asked that Mr. Ban submit a report to the members every 30 days from today specifying progress made towards the Resolution‘s implementation. United Nations agencies and other aid groups are authorized to use four international routes — two on the Turkish border, one in Iraq, and one in Jordan.