Syrian civil society organizations called upon the international community to reform the basic principles of humanitarian response to the needs of civilians in need, expressing deep concern about the failure of the international community to effectively respond to the plight of the Syrian people.
A letter signed by more than 80 Syrian non-governmental organizations and sent to the World humanitarian Summit which concluded in Istanbul on Monday said that the response to what is now described as the worst humanitarian crisis in our modern time has failed to put an end to the suffering of people affected by the armed conflict. It called on the international community to address the root causes of the tragedy unfolding in Syria and to develop an action plan to deal with the increasing level of violence and the regime’s use of chemical and indiscriminate weapons, most notably barrel bombs.
The signatories submitted recommendations to protect civilians, improve the humanitarian situation, and support Syrian civil society organizations.
The letter stressed the need for radical restructuring of the humanitarian system to better respond to the humanitarian disasters that occurred over the last two decades, citing the situation in Syria as a stark example of the failure to respond to the suffering of the people affected by such disasters.
The absence of a clearly laid plan led to an increase in violence in Syria as well as to further deterioration of the humanitarian situation, the letter added.
The letter defined three points where it said the international community failed to address effectively: protection of civilians and non-military targets; inability of the international community to stop indiscriminate shelling and the deliberate targeting of medical personnel and relief workers; and the international community’s failure to take action based on the findings of the UN Human Rights Council about enforced disappearances and the protection of asylum-seekers.
The letter called upon world leaders to ensure compliance with international humanitarian laws through laying out concrete measures to hold to account all violators of the Geneva Conventions as well as through reconsidering the UN Security Council veto when it comes to purely humanitarian issues. (Source: Syrian Coalition)