The UN Security Council on Tuesday failed to adopt two conflicting resolutions to expand cross-border aid deliveries from Turkey to northern Syria, leaving some 4.1 million people in rebel-held areas unsuccessful. An important lifeline was effectively cut off.
Russia has vetoed a nine-month extension to one draft resolution submitted by Brazil and Switzerland, a compromise from the original 12-month extension sought by the United Nations and international aid agencies. A second resolution submitted by Russia calling for a six-month extension was vetoed by the UK, France and the US. Russia and China voted in favor, while the other 10 members abstained.
Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Neventsia, told the Council that the aid was directed to “terrorists” and that the cross-border mechanism was a “show”.
“If our draft is not supported, we can simply close the cross-border mechanism,” Nevenzia said.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield said the failure to adopt both resolutions was a “sad moment” and Russia behaved like “a playground bully, my way or the highway”. said he did
He said the United States was committed to reauthorizing cross-border aid deliveries, but that “we cannot in good conscience support a document that Russia has coerced into this Council.”
“Russian resolutions failed to ensure that aid continued to reach the Syrian people during the cold winter months,” added Ms Thomas Greenfield.
Diplomats said negotiations continued behind closed doors to find a breakthrough, but the Russian ambassador indicated that Russia would not agree to a simple renewal without some word on easing sanctions on Syria. , questioned whether a compromise solution could be obtained.
The UN aid operation from Turkey’s border, known as Bab al-Hawa, was launched by the Security Council in 2014 for the purpose of sending food, medicine and other life-saving aid to Syrians living in rebel-held areas. approved.
The extension of the aid mission expired on Monday, and the UN cannot legally cross the border without a Security Council mandate or permission from the Syrian government.
But the United Nations said it would continue to deliver aid through Turkey’s Bab al-Salaam and Al-Rayy crossings, which were opened with permission from the Syrian government after the February quake. These two crossings he extended until August 13th.
But about 85% of UN aid is delivered through the Bab al-Hawa border, and no two other border crossings will be able to match that figure, the world organization said on Tuesday.
Supplies have already been deployed in northern Syria, with convoys crossing from Syrian government checkpoints, but that alone is not enough, the UN said.
International aid agencies and Human Rights Watch condemned Russia’s veto of the resolution and urged diplomats to immediately reform the regime and reach a compromise.
“Today’s failure by the Security Council to reauthorize UN cross-border aid to northwestern Syria will only add to the anxiety and uncertainty already endured by Syrians living there. said six international aid agencies, including CARE International and the International Rescue Commission, in a joint statement. statement.
“Council members should be guided by humanitarian needs, not politics.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/11/world/middleeast/syria-humanitarian-aid-united-nations.html UN Security Council veto jeopardizes cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria