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
24 November: Statement attributable to the spokesperson of the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria
14 November - Statement of the International Syria Support Group
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.
Vienna, November 14, 2015
Meeting in Vienna on November 14, 2015 as the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), the Arab League, 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 to discuss how to accelerate an end to the Syrian conflict. The participants began with a moment of silence for the victims of the heinous terrorist attacks of November 13 in Paris and the recent attacks in Beirut, Iraq, Ankara, and Egypt. The members unanimously condemned in the strongest terms these brutal attacks against innocent civilians and stood with the people of France.
Subsequently, the participants engaged in a constructive dialogue to build upon the progress made in the October 30 gathering. The members of the ISSG expressed a unanimous sense of urgency to end the suffering of the Syrian people, the physical destruction of Syria, the destabilization of the region, and the resulting increase in terrorists drawn to the fighting in Syria.
The ISSG acknowledged the close linkage between a cease fire and a parallel political process pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communique, and that both initiatives should move ahead expeditiously. They stated their commitment to ensure a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition based on the Geneva Communique in its entirety. The group reached a common understanding on several key issues.
The group agreed to support and work to implement a nationwide cease fire in Syria to come into effect as soon as the representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition have begun initial steps towards the transition under UN auspices on the basis of the Geneva Communique. The five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council pledged to support a UNSC resolution to empower a UN-endorsed cease fire monitoring mission in those parts of the country where monitors would not come under threat of attacks from terrorists, and to support a political transition process in accordance with the Geneva Communique.
All members of the ISSG also pledged as individual countries and supporters of various belligerents to take all possible steps to require adherence to the cease fire by these groups or individuals they support, supply or influence. The cease fire would not apply to offensive or defensive actions against Da’esh or Nusra or any other group the ISSG agrees to deem terrorist.
The participants welcomed UN Secretary General Ban’s statement that he has ordered the UN to accelerate planning for supporting the implementation of a nationwide cease fire. The group agreed that the UN should lead the effort, in consultation with interested parties, to determine the requirements and modalities of a cease fire.
The ISSG expressed willingness to take immediate steps to encourage confidence-building measures that would contribute to the viability of the political process and to pave the way for the nationwide cease fire. In this context, and pursuant to clause 5 of the Vienna Communique, the ISSG discussed the need to take steps to ensure expeditious humanitarian access throughout the territory of Syria pursuant to UNSCR 2165 and called for the granting of the UN’s pending requests for humanitarian deliveries. The ISSG expressed concern for the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons and the imperative of building conditions for their safe return in accordance with the norms of international humanitarian law and taking into account the interests of host countries. The resolution of the refugee issue is important to the final settlement of the Syrian conflict. The ISSG also reaffirmed the devastating effects of the use of indiscriminate weapons on the civilian population and humanitarian access, as stated in UNSCR 2139. The ISSG agreed to press the parties to end immediately any use of such indiscriminate weapons.
The ISSG reaffirmed the importance of abiding byall relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including UNSCR 2199 on stopping the illegal trade in oil, antiquities and hostages, from which terrorists benefit.
Pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communique, incorporated by reference in the Vienna statement of October 30, and in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118, the ISSG agreed on the need to convene Syrian government and opposition representatives in formal negotiations under UN auspices, as soon as possible, with a target date of January 1. The group welcomed efforts, working with United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and others, to bring together the broadest possible spectrum of the opposition, chosen by Syrians, who will decide their negotiating representatives and define their negotiating positions, so as to enable the political process to begin. All the parties to the political process should adhere to the guiding principles identified at the October 30 meeting, including a commitment to Syria’s unity, independence, territorial integrity, and non-sectarian character; to ensuring that State institutions remain intact; and to protecting the rights of all Syrians, regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination. ISSG members agreed that these principles are fundamental.
The ISSG members reaffirmed their support for the transition process contained in the2012 Geneva Communique. In this respect they affirmed their support for a cease fire as described above and for a Syrian-led process that will, within a target of six months, establish credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance, and set a schedule and process for drafting a new constitution. Free and fair elections would be held pursuant to the new constitution within 18 months. Theseelections must be administered under UN supervision to the satisfaction of the governance and to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, with all Syrians, including the diaspora, eligible to participate.
Regarding the fight against terrorism, and pursuant to clause 6 of the Vienna Communique, the ISSG reiterated that Da’esh, Nusra, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council, and further, as agreed by the participants and endorsed by the UN Security Council, must be defeated. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan agreed to help develop among intelligence and military community representatives a common understanding of groups and individuals for possible determination as terrorists, with a target of completion by the beginning of the political process under UN auspices.
The participants expect to meet in approximately one month in order to review progress towards implementation of a cease fire and the beginning of the political process.
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
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.