New York, NY
October 2, 2013
Today’s presidential statement on Syria adopted by the UN Security Council demonstrates the unified political will of the international community to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria. It is now incumbent upon the Assad regime to take immediate steps to respect the will of the Security Council and to relieve the suffering of the Syrian people.
The Syrian Coalition welcomes the Security Council’s condemnation of the widespread violations of human rights and international law perpetrated by the Assad regime. We demand that the regime take immediate steps today to facilitate the expansion of humanitarian relief operations, provide free passage to medical personnel and supplies, and lift all bureaucratic impediments and obstacles hampering the delivery of aid into all parts of Syria.
For the past two and a half years, the Syrian regime has allowed our country’s humanitarian crisis to grow uncontrollably and to escalate regionally. UN agencies including OCHA, UNHCR, and UNICEF, as well as Human rights Watch, Amnesty International and the independent Commission of Inquiry, have repeatedly documented the regime’s efforts to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching those in need.
As a result, the Syrian regime has orchestrated the worst humanitarian catastrophe witnessed in a quarter century. It has deliberately laid siege on entire suburbs and towns, and has converted medical facilities into instruments of warfare. The Syrian Coalition therefore joins the Security Council in calling on the Assad regime to take immediate steps to expedite the approval of domestic and international NGOs that engage in humanitarian relief; ease and expedite procedures for the operationalization of humanitarian hubs; and promptly facilitate safe and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need.
“The release of today’s presidential statement offers a critical reminder that the grave humanitarian situation in Syria cannot be allowed to continue”, said Dr. Najib Ghadbian, UN Representative of the Syrian Coalition. “The Syrian regime must be compelled to end its merciless sieges on our towns and cities, and it must act now to provide immediate relief to the millions of Syrians without access to food, water, and urgently needed medical care.”
The regime must act without delay to stop the suffering of our people, and to lay the foundation of an urgently needed full political transition to democracy, as envisioned by the Geneva Communiqué of June 2012.