An emergency UN Security Council session held on Thursday to discuss a cease-fire in Syria witnessed widespread international condemnation of the war crimes being committed by the Assad regime and its allies against civilians in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.
The 15-member Council once again failed to take action on the situation in Syria. Swedish UN Ambassador Olof Skoog said the Council could vote on the draft resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire across the country on Friday.
Speaking before the vote was shelved, Francois Delattre, the French ambassador to the United Nations said that he could not find words to describe that current situation in eastern Ghouta, pointing out that the Assad regime’s primary goal is to destroy the morale of civilians.
Delattre warned that failure to act to help eastern Ghouta could sound “the death knell of the United Nations.” He pointed to a sharp intensification of fighting in eastern Ghouta as he warned of a repeat of the tragedy of Aleppo in the Damascus suburb. The French diplomat stressed that the cessation of hostilities is the request of the United Nations and all humanitarian organizations.
Stephen Hickey, the UK’s acting deputy permanent representative to the UN, said that the UN security council had failed to uphold its responsibilities to the people of Syria.
“The suffering of the Syrian people, while primarily the responsibility of the Syrian regime, brings shame on all of us in this council.”
Hickey said the Assad regime continued to pedal the myth that all those opposing it were terrorists. “The people of eastern Ghouta are not terrorists,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday expressed the Kingdom’s deep concerns over the Assad regime’s “escalating continued attacks on Eastern Ghouta, and the impact of that on civilians.”
The Ministry “emphasized the necessity of the Syrian regime stopping violence and allowing delivery of humanitarian aid. It must seriously pursue a political solution based on the agreed upon principles of Geneva 1 Declaration and UN Security Council resolution 2254.”
Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition Nazir al-Hakim on Thursday said: “The continued failure of the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities is no longer acceptable.
“The vote on the draft resolution at the UN Security Council today poses a moral challenge and any failure will damage the credibility of the international system.”
Hakim said that the Coalition was standing ready to participate in Thursday’s meeting to brief the UN Security Council on the dire humanitarian situation in Syria, especially in eastern Ghouta.
The draft resolution, which was submitted by Kuwait and Sweden, demands a 30-day humanitarian truce to allow urgent deliveries of humanitarian aid to all civilians throughout Syria, including to those in eastern Ghouta. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)