Syria: UN Secretary General Guterres updates the Security Council

Damaged building in Daraa, Syria  Damaged building in Daraa, Syria Mahmoud Sulaiman on Unsplash

22 June 2022

 While updating UNSC about the latest developments in Syria, Guterres urges States not to give up on humanitarian support

 On June 20, UN Secretary-General Guterres addressed the UN Security Council with the intention of updating its members on the humanitarian situation in Syria and on what needs to be done to ensure relief for its population. There are currently at least 14 million people in Syria in need of assistance, in one of the most dramatic contexts in the world.  Destroyed and unusable infrastructures, stalled economic activity, poverty, sanctions, regional financial crises and the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to making the 11-year-old conflict even more devastating for civilians.

Despite the massive humanitarian response from UN agencies in recent years, Guterres believes that support for the civilian population must be even more decisive and that this should be a moral imperative for the international community.

 The Secretary-General reiterated the importance of Resolution 2585, adopted unanimously in July 2021 and which in turn affirms the continuity of the various Resolutions relating to the issue starting from number 2165 (2014). Guterres consequently asked the Security Council for the extension of Resolution 2585 for a period of no less than another 12 months, a decision necessary to rescue 4.1 million people in western Syria, of which 80% are women and children.

 In addition, the Secretary-General urged Council members to implement concrete initiatives to bring the warring factions to a negotiating table: "The only way to end the humanitarian tragedy in Syria is through a truly nationwide ceasefire and a political solution that enables the Syrian people to determine their own future."

 The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths spoke too, informing us that UN agencies have organized five convoys loaded with basic commodities into Idlib in the northwest, after Resolution 2585. 

Moreover, while it is expected that the efforts will continue, there is a need for greater guarantees of security and financing. In all this, Turkey’s role is fundamental: last year alone at least 800 trucks brought in aid to the Syrian northwest, guaranteeing assistance to 2.4 million people. It is imperative that these initiatives continue, otherwise, the humanitarian situation in Syria is going to eventually worsen. 


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by Ignazio Alcamo

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