UPDATES FOR CORRESPONDENTS
28 December - Joint statement by the UN in Syria, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross
The UNITED NATIONS IN SYRIA
THE SYRIAN ARAB RED CRESCENT
AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS
ON THE EVACUATION OF INJURED PEOPLE AND RELATIVES IN SYRIA’S IDLEB AND RIF DAMASCUS GOVERNORATES
Syria: Over 450 people including injured evacuated from hard to reach and besieged towns
Damascus (28 December 2015) - The United Nations (UN) in Syria, in partnership with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have successfully facilitated the evacuation of more than 450 people including the injured and their accompanying family members, following a local Agreement concerning the Syrian towns of Foua, Kafraya in Idleb and Zabadani and Madaya in Rif Damascus.
While the United Nations and partners are not party to the Agreement, the humanitarian actors are keen to see its provisions implemented as people in these towns live in a difficult situation, and the injured people urgently need medical assistance.
Earlier today, the UN in Syria, SARC and ICRC carried out coordinated tasks, which led to the evacuation of 338 persons from the towns of Foua and Kafraya, and 126 people from the towns of Zabadani and Madaya. They were simultaneously evacuated by land and air through Turkey and Lebanon to the agreed final destinations where those requiring longer term medical care will receive it.
Through the facilitation of the UN, SARC and ICRC in Syria, and in close coordination with the ICRC in Lebanon, the Lebanese Red Cross, the UN in Turkey and Lebanon and IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, an NGO partner in Turkey, the injured were transported out of Syria to Lebanon where thorough medical checks were conducted and urgent medical assistance was provided.
“The humanitarian community in Syria is keen to see the swift implementation of the next phases of the Four Towns Agreement including humanitarian access to people in these towns,” said Yacoub El-Hillo, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria. “We stand ready to continue providing relief and livelihoods assistance to the millions of people wherever they are in Syria as they bear the brunt of this crisis,” El Hillo added.
“Today’s humanitarian action shows that even in the middle of fierce conflicts, agreements can be reached, solely for the purpose of alleviating human suffering,” said Marianne Gasser, Head of the ICRC Delegation in Syria. “Parties involved in the fighting, must allow access by humanitarian actors to all people who have been affected by years of fighting, especially to those in besieged and hard to reach areas, “she continued.
Dr Abdul Rahman Attar, the President of the SARC said: “Access to medical care is a right of every wounded person regardless of which side they belong to. SARC’s teams of volunteers, first-aiders and ambulances were heavily involved in the various stages of this operation inside Syria.”
On his side, the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that the UN’s clear goal is to reach, as soon as possible a nationwide ceasefire. “Meanwhile, initiatives like this one bring relief to besieged or isolated communities and have great value,” de Mistura said. “They help the perception that a nationwide ceasefire brokered by the members of the International Syria Support Group is doable and that the UN can and will do its part.”
Across Syria, around 4.5 million people living in hard-to-reach areas continue with limited access to basic life-saving assistance and protection. Almost 400,000 of them live in besieged areas with little or no access to basic supplies or assistance. The United Nations and partners continue to urge all parties to the conflict to find a political solution, and to ensure unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access.
بيان صحفي مشترك
الأمم المتحدة في سورية،
والهلال الأحمر العربي السوري،
واللجنة الدولية للصليب الأحمر
حول إجلاء الجرحى وعائلاتهم من إدلب ومن ريف دمشق
سورية: إجلاء أكثر من 450 شخصًا بمن فيهم مصابين، من بلدات يتعذر الوصول إليها وأخرى محاصرة
دمشق 28 كانون الأول/ ديسمبر 2015
26 December - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Special Envoy for Syria
11 December - International Syria Support Group meeting
دمشق (28 ديسمبر 2015) - نجحت الأمم المتحدة في سورية بالتعاون مع الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري واللجنة الدولية للصليب الأحمر في إجلاء أكثر من 450 شخصاً بمن فيهم المصابين وأفراد عائلاتهم المصاحبين لهم، وذلك عقب التوصل إلى اتفاق محلي يشمل بلدات سورية هي الفوعة وكفريا في إدلب، والزبداني ومضايا في ريف دمشق.
وتجدرالإشارة هنا إلى أن الأمم المتحدة وشركاءها ليسوا شركاء في هذه الاتفاق، لكن الفاعلون في المجال الإنساني يحرصون على رؤية شروط الاتفاق وهي توضع موضع التنفيذ، إذ أن سكان هذه البلدات يعيشون في أوضاع صعبة للغاية، ويحتاج المصابون فيها إلى مساعدات طبية عاجلة.
ومن الجدير بالذكر، أن الأمم المتحدة في سورية نفذت بالتنسيق مع الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري واللجنة الدولية مهام أفضت إلى إجلاء 338 شخصاً من بلدتي الفوعة وكفريا، و126 شخصاً من بلدات الزبداني ومضايا. وقد أُجلي هؤلاء في وقت واحد براً وجواً عن طريق تركيا ولبنان، ليصلوا إلى البلدان المُقرر وصولهم إليها، ليحصل المصابون الذين يحتاجون إلى فترات أطول من الرعاية الطبية على تلك الرعاية.
وعن طريق جهود التيسير التي بذلتها الأمم المتحدة والهلال الأحمر السوري واللجنة الدولية في سورية وبالتنسيق الوثيق مع اللجنة الدولية في لبنان والصليب الأحمر اللبناني والأمم المتحدة في تركيا ولبنان ومؤسسة الإغاثة الانسانية، منظمة غير الحكومية في تركيا، نُقل المصابون من سورية إلى لبنان وتركيا حيث أُجريت لهم فحوصات طبية وحصلوا على مساعدات طبية عاجلة.
وحول هذه العملية ذكر السيد "يعقوب الحلو" المنسق المقيم للأمم المتحدة للشؤون الإنسانية في سورية بقوله: "إن المجتمع الإنساني في سورية توّاق إلى رؤية المراحل التالية للاتفاق الذي يشمل البلدات الأربع تدخل حيز التنفيذ في أسرع وقت، وتشمل تلك المراحل إيصال المساعدات الإنسانية إلى سكان تلك البلدات" ونوه السيد يعقوب قائلًا: "نحن على أتمّ الاستعداد لمواصلة تقديم المساعدات الإغاثية والمعيشية للملايين في سورية أينما كانوا، لنخفف عنهم وطأة المعاناة التي تخلفها هذه الأزمة ".
من جهتها أفادت السيدة "ماريان غاسر" رئيسة بعثة اللجنة الدولية للصليب الأحمر في دمشق قائلة: "إن التحرك الإنساني الذي نراه في يومنا الحاضر لهو خير دليل على أنه حتى في أشد النزاعات ضراوة يمكن التوصل إلى اتفاقات الغرض منها فقط هو تخفيف المعاناة الإنسانية". وأضافت قائلة: "يتعين على الأطراف المنخرطة في القتال السماح للجهات الإنسانية بالوصول إلى المتضررين من جراء سنوات من القتال الدائر، لا سيما أولئك العالقين في مناطق محاصرة أو مناطق يصعب الوصول إليها".
وفي السياق ذاته أفاد الدكتور "عبد الرحمن عطار" رئيس منظمة الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري بقوله: "إن الحصول على الرعاية الصحية حق مكفول لكل شخص جريح بصرف النظر عن الطرف الذي ينتمي إليه. وأن فرق المتطوعين والمسعفين التابعين للهلال الأحمر العربي السوري شاركوا بشكل مباشر في المراحل المختلفة لهذه العملية داخل سورية".
من جانبه ذكر المبعوث الخاص للأمم المتحدة إلى سورية السيد "ستافان دي ميستورا" أن للأمم المتحدة هدفاً واضحاً وهو التوصل إلى وقف لإطلاق النار يشمل كل أنحاء سورية في القريب العاجل. وقال: "ترمي مثل هذه المبادرات في الوقت ذاته إلى إيصال المساعدات الإغاثية إلى المجتمعات المحلية المحاصرة أو المعزولة، وهي بلا شك تحقق قيمة كبيرة. فهي تساعد في ترسيخ فكرة مفادها أن التوصل إلى وقف لإطلاق النار في جميع أرجاء البلاد بوساطة أعضاء في "مجموعة دعم سورية" لهو أمر قابل للتحقيق، وأن الأمم المتحدة قادرة على أداء دورها وهي ماضية في ذلك".
ويجب التنويه هنا إلى أن نحو 4,5 ملايين شخص يعيشون في مناطق يصعب الوصول إليها لا يزالون يعانون صعوبة في الحصول على المساعدات الأساسية المنقذة للحياة وعلى الحماية اللازمة. يعيش قرابة 400.000 منهم في مناطق تقع تحت الحصار حيث لا يصلهم إلا أقل القليل من الإمدادات أو المساعدات الأساسية إن وُجدت. وتواصل الأمم المتحدة بالتعاون مع شركائها حث جميع أطراف النزاع للتوصل إلى حل سياسي، ولضمان وصول المساعدات الإنسانية المستمرة دونما أية عوائق.
Technical preparatory talks for the next International Syria Support Group meeting are taking place in Geneva, at an undisclosed location, between representatives of the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the United Nations. The meeting is not being held at the Palais des Nations.
24 November: Statement attributable to the spokesperson of the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria
14 November - Statement of the International Syria Support Group
6 November - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson of the Special Envoy for Syria
30 October - Vienna Communique on Syria
2 October - Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson of the Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura
22 September - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson of the Special Envoy for Syria
13 September - Statement of the Special Envoy for Syria to the Ministerial meeting of the League of Arab States
Meeting in Vienna, on October 30, 2015, China, Egypt, the EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States [“the participants”] came together to discuss the grave situation in Syria and how to bring about an end to the violence as soon as possible.
The participants had a frank and constructive discussion, covering major issues. While substantial differences remain among the participants, they reached a mutual understanding on the following:
1) Syria’s unity, independence, territorial integrity, and secular character are fundamental.
2) State institutions will remain intact.
3) The rights of all Syrians, regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination, must be protected.
4) It is imperative to accelerate all diplomatic efforts to end the war.
5) Humanitarian access will be ensured throughout the territory of Syria, and the participants will increase support for internally displaced persons, refugees, and their host countries.
6) Da'esh, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the U.N. Security Council, and further, as agreed by the participants, must be defeated.
7) Pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communique and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118, the participants invited the U.N. to convene representatives of the Government of Syria and the Syrian opposition for a political process leading to credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections. These elections must be administered under U.N. supervision to the satisfaction of the governance and to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, free and fair, with all Syrians, including the diaspora, eligible to participate.
8) This political process will be Syrian led and Syrian owned, and the Syrian people will decide the future of Syria.
9) The participants together with the United Nations will explore modalities for, and implementation of, a nationwide ceasefire to be initiated on a date certain and in parallel with this renewed political process.
The participants will spend the coming days working to narrow remaining areas of disagreement, and build on areas of agreement. Ministers will reconvene within two weeks to continue these discussions.
10 September - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria
1st September - Special Envoy for Syria met with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Arab African Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
17 August - Special Envoy for Syria condemned yesterday's air raids on the town of Duma
14 August - Special Envoy for Syria condemns shelling of Damascus Suburbs
12 August - Special Envoy for Syria welcomes the release of human rights activist and journalist
5 August - Secretary-General encouraged by Security Council’s support for latest proposal on Syria
5 August - Special Envoy explains his proposal on thematic discussions
29 July - Remarks by the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the situation in Syria
New York, 29 July 2015
After more than four years of slaughter, the Syrian conflict is a shameful symbol of the international community’s divisions and failure.
I am profoundly disappointed that this Council’s resolutions on Syria have not been implemented – neither on ending the violence nor on easing humanitarian suffering or combatting terrorism and foreign fighters.
Syria is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, as you heard yesterday in harrowing detail from
the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.
At least a quarter-million Syrians have been killed.
Almost half the country’s people -- 12 million men, women and children -- have been forced to flee their homes. In a massive cross-border exodus, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq are hosting an ever growing number of refugees, and increasing numbers of Syrians [are] making desperate flights across the Mediterranean in so-called “death boats”.
Atrocious crimes are now almost an hourly occurrence, fed by a lack of accountability for the major human rights violations committed over the past four years and through decades of repression.
The Syrian people have been exposed to chemical weapons, which should have been relegated to the past – and to new, indiscriminate killing devices such as barrel bombs and hell cannons.
The conflict has given rise to terrorist groups such as Da’esh and Al Nusra Front, and fuelled sectarianism and radicalization throughout and beyond the region.
And funding for humanitarian activities continues to be outpaced by the gargantuan and ever-growing scale of needs.
The situation is a clear threat to international peace and security that should compel us all to consider what more we can do to end the carnage and uphold our responsibilities.
It was in this context that on 28 March I instructed my Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, to intensify efforts by the United Nations to find a political settlement to the conflict. Specifically, I asked him to work to operationalize the Geneva Communiqué.
The Security Council unanimously endorsed the Geneva Communiqué in its resolution 2118. The document contains principles and guidelines to end the violence and launch a Syrian-led political process leading to a transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.
The Communiqué remains the only internationally agreed basis for a political settlement to the Syrian conflict, and was the foundation for recent initiatives such as the Cairo and Moscow processes.
Mr. de Mistura will brief you on his consultations. I would like to highlight four key points.
First, Mr. de Mistura’s description of the state of the Syrian crisis is a synthesis of what we heard from an inclusive and representative group of Syrian and non-Syrian stakeholders.
Second, amidst gaping fault lines, there are points of consensus upon which a credible political process can be constructed.
Syrians and external actors alike possess a shared sense of concern regarding the threshold that the conflict has now reached.
No one wants to risk the chaos of an uncontrolled transition in Damascus. All reject a future Syria divided along sectarian lines. Many Syrians warned that the country is entering a cycle of fragmentation and radicalization from which it will be hard to exit.
Our Syrian interlocutors also lamented that their country is caught in a regional proxy war that is beyond Syrians’ ability to resolve by themselves.
Almost all pointed to an urgent need for the international community to act now if we want to save and preserve what is left of Syria. As the situation deteriorates, Syrians predict that the prospects for achieving a political solution will also recede.
Third, the Syrians with whom we spoke share many of the same aspirations.
They want to protect the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, and to determine their own future free from external intervention.
They consider it impossible to return to the past.
They reject violent extremism and terrorism, and support a non-sectarian, multi-confessional and inclusive society.
And they yearn to build a genuinely democratic Syria based on human rights and the rule of law.
Fourth and finally, the consultations made clear that the major stumbling block in the political process remains the issue of forming a Transitional Governing Body, or TGB, with full executive powers that can create a suitable environment and safety for all during the transition.
The TGB is the top priority for the opposition, while the Syrian government has told us that such an institution would be unconstitutional.
Although difficult, these are not insurmountable obstacles and differences. Mr. de Mistura will therefore present a proposal to launch a political process aimed at enabling Syrians to negotiate a framework agreement on how to implement all aspects of the Geneva Communiqué.
The main goal of these preparatory negotiations will be to reach intra-Syrian agreement on the elements of the Geneva Communiqué, including on the issue of the TGB, as well as to effectively fight terrorism.
I stand ready to convene a high-level international conference to endorse any recommendations or agreement that this Syrian-led political process may reach.
The status quo in Syria is unacceptable. Some argue that we must wait to end this nightmare until there is a more propitious alignment of regional and international circumstances. This would be both immoral and irresponsible.
We must not condemn the Syrian people to even deeper despair. We must not condemn the region to unending turmoil.
Today I ask the Security Council to endorse Mr. de Mistura’s recommendations and work with the Syrian parties to convince them to participate constructively in this proposed process.
Just as important, the Council has a responsibility to support the political process by acting to de-escalate the conflict.
We must ensure that these preparatory negotiations are meaningful and not cynically exploited as a license to continue the killing.
I urge the Security Council, Syria’s neighbours and regional sponsors of the Syrian parties to stem all flows of arms and foreign fighters pouring into the country.
While ending the bloodshed remains primarily the responsibility of the Syrian parties, especially President Bashar al-Assad, there is much that the region and the international community can do to starve the fire of its fuel.
We must also build on the political momentum that has been generated by the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries. The unity that generated that agreement can help point the way towards conflict resolution in Syria and greater stability across the region.
For the moment, the greatest obstacle to ending the Syrian war is the notion that it can be won militarily. It is our failure to act with a unified voice that perpetuates this harmful illusion and allows the Syrian parties to think that there is some alternative other than coming to the negotiating table.
Today, Mr. de Mistura and I will outline a way forward to reach the political solution that all claim to support. I urge you to give this proposal your full support. If you do not, the world expects this body to present a viable alternative.
29 July - Special Envoy for Syria briefs Security Council on the situation in Syria
26 & 27 June
25 & 26 June
On 27 May, in the framework of the Geneva Consultations, the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria met with a delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran, led by Mr. Mohsen Naziri Asl, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. Ambassador Asl shared the views of his government regarding the Syrian crisis. Separately, Mr. de Mistura also met with a delegation from the United Arab Emirates, led by Mr. Fares Al Mazrouei, Assistant Foreign Minister for Security and Military Affairs. Mr. Al Mazrouei shared his Government’s perspectives on the Syrian conflict. At the end of the consultations on 27 May, Mr. de Mistura stressed the importance of the contribution of the regional countries to a political solution to the Syrian conflict. He also underscored an urgent need to find ways to end the bloodshed in Syria. In this respect, the Special Envoy reiterated his support to humanitarian pauses in fighting as called for by the World Food Programme (WFP), so farmers in Syria can safely harvest and transport crops in the coming weeks within the country to reach all Syrians in need.