New York, United Nations
October 26, 2013
During today’s humanitarian briefing on Syria at the UN Security Council, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos underlined the severity of the humanitarian situation in Syria. Her remarks highlighted the severe and lethal consequences of the Assad regime’s continued policy of denying humanitarian access to Syria’s vulnerable populations.
The Syrian Coalition welcomes the UN Security Council’s recent Presidential Statement adopted on October 2, to improve humanitarian access in Syria and is prepared to support its full implementation. Until now, the regime has ignored the Security Council on this issue and taken no serious steps to allow the delivery of relief to the seven million Syrians in urgent need of care. The Syrian regime’s blatant violation of international humanitarian law is a clear and public demonstration that the regime has failed to meet even its most basic obligations of protecting the Syrian people.
The Syrian Coalition is committed to cooperating closely with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. We will work to enable free and unhindered access to humanitarian and medical personnel seeking to assist vulnerable groups throughout the liberated territories under our control. Through our independent assistance and development arm, the Assistance Coordination Unit, and in cooperation with local councils and local aid groups across the country, we pledge to take all measures necessary to improve our efforts to facilitate and direct the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian supplies, including medicine and food, to those in need.
In a letter issued to the UN Security Council in advance of today’s briefing, the Syrian Coalition reiterated its commitment to ensuring humanitarian access and called on members of the Council to take further measures to strengthen access and intensify pressure on the Assad regime to relieve the suffering of the civilian population of Syria.
The situation in many parts of Syria is critical, particularly in the city of Moadameyeh, where the Assad regime is laying siege to and has trapped thousands of Syrian civilians, using malnutrition and starvation as a weapon of oppression.
“We call on all parties to the conflict to protect the lives of innocent civilians, and we pledge to do everything in our power to ensure that those in need are provided access to medical care, food, and water in accordance with the principles of international humanitarian law,” wrote Dr. Najib Ghadbian, Special Representative of the Syrian Coalition to the United Nations, in the Coalition’s letter to the Council. “The international society must apply concerted pressure on the Syrian regime to remove basic impediments that prevent the provision of aid that can stop the suffering of the people of Syria.”
Dr. Ghadbian added today, “The Syrian regime’s obstructionism on this issue must end. This is yet another reason the Assad regime must go. The international community must increase its support for the moderate opposition and for the people of Syria and work towards a true and complete transition to democracy in which the Assad regime has no role or future.”