Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) Secretary, Abdul Majeed Barakat, has criticized the United Nations (UN) and its organizations for their failure to help the Syrian people after a devastating earthquake hit northwestern Syria. In an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper, Barakat claimed that the UN was attempting to cover up its inability to manage the humanitarian crisis, not just following the earthquake, but in general.
Barakat alleged that the UN was using the need for approval from the Assad regime to enter aid into northwestern Syria as a pretext to disguise its own shortcomings. This, he argued, was giving the Assad regime more leverage for political blackmail.
The SOC Secretary claimed that there were forces within the UN working to open new arenas for the regime to restore legitimacy. He further criticized the UN’s mechanism for entering aid and managing the humanitarian file, which he described as illogical and incomprehensible. According to Barakat, the process was at the mercy of Russia, which had the power to veto UN Security Council resolutions every six months.
Barakat deplored the fact that Russia was being begged not to use its veto to block UN resolutions on the renewal of the mandate to enter UN aid to northwestern Syria. He argued that this mechanism allowed the regime to exploit humanitarian aid to achieve political gains.
The SOC Secretary highlighted the failure of the UN’s humanitarian management when the earthquake struck, with no UN aid entering northwestern Syria in the first few days. When aid did arrive, it was pre-scheduled and did not specifically target those affected by the earthquake.
Barakat criticized the UN’s approach of begging Bashar al-Assad to allow the entry of aid, as it was incomprehensible to ask him to open border crossings that were outside of his control. He argued that the delay in the arrival of aid was one of the reasons for the doubling of the number of victims and why humanitarian organizations and civil defense working on the ground stopped providing aid to the earthquake victims.
Barakat claimed that the UN’s failure to manage the humanitarian file was due to the inaction of the international community, giving the Assad regime more leverage to exploit the humanitarian catastrophe for its benefit.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)