UN Secretary General: time to do something for Syria

A displaced family in the Al-Hol camp in Syria A displaced family in the Al-Hol camp in Syria UNICEF

14 March 2022

After 11 years, the UN secretary general reminds of the “unconscionable human cost” and the work that still needs to be done in Syria

In early March, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke on the past 11 years of fighting in Syria. Guterres mentioned the “millions of internally displaced” along with the refugees who “struggle to survive in the most difficult circumstances.”

Guterres recalled Resolution 2254 (2015), which aimed to negotiate political solutions in Syria. He suggested that in 2022, the world can renew their commitment to Syria, by maintaining the commitment towards “the critical need to build conditions for the safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their home areas and the rehabilitation of affected areas” (Resolution 2254). This process towards new development in the country, offers safety and dignity to those most affected by the destruction.

Finally, Guterres called on the Security Council to renew Resolution 2585 (2021) which would maintain the flow of humanitarian aid across the border. This call to action comes after much of the world has put less of a priority on action in Syria. The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) writes that while Syria remains a dangerous place for civilians, nations are already forgetting about their commitments to humanity. Some of the international community has normalized relations with Syria while others have attempted to send refugees back to unsafe conditions; both of these actions have gone against progress towards the 2015 resolution.

On the 11th anniversary of the commencement of the atrocities in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported their calculations from the past 11 years. The organization has documented at least 160,681 civilian victims in Syria, some due to torture, some due to attacks and others due to failing infrastructure. Paul Segio Pinheiro, the Chair of the Independent International commission of Inquiry on the Human Rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, pleads that nothing is going to happen through rhetorical commitments and that peace will only be reached when the international community offers a real political solution with respect for “sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence.”


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Author: Jacob Marder



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