UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos briefed the Security Council on 25 November on the implementation of resolution 2165 on humanitarian access. She noted that since its adoption in July, progress has been made in delivering aid to people most in need throughout Syria. The United Nations has been able to deliver aid to almost all hard-to-reach communities in four Governorates – Aleppo, Idlib, Da’ra and Quneitra, primarily through cross-border convoys. She warned, however, that the response was still not enough. “We continue to fall short of meeting humanitarian needs of all people we aim to reach in Syria”, she added. Ms. Amos urged the Security Council to push for an end to the violence that is destroying the country and destabilizing the region.
In his latest report to the Security Council on humanitarian access in Syria, the Secretary-General said that more than 12 million people still urgently need assistance. Nearly five million of them live in areas that remain hard to reach despite the additional access granted through resolution 2165. The Secretary-General also stressed that the proposal made by his Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to establish incremental freezes, beginning with the city of Aleppo, is first and foremost intended to lead to a strategic de-escalation of violence, starting from specific areas with a national impact. They could also serve as building blocks to arrive at a national, all-inclusive political process, he noted.
Palestinian refugees face increasingly grave situation across the region – UNRWA
On 24 November, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Spokesperson warned that the plight of Palestine refugees from Syria is becoming increasingly grave as a result of closed borders and a series of forced returns. “We acknowledge the enormous efforts of neighbouring countries to provide refuge to Palestine refugees and the security challenges they face, but we are receiving increasing reports of Palestine refugees from Syria finding it difficult to seek refuge in countries in the region including Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt as well as in Europe,” Chris Gunness said. This forces the already vulnerable Palestinian population to take life threatening risks, such as attempting to escape by boat on the Mediterranean, often with tragic consequences, he explained. While UNRWA reported 106 cases of involuntary deportations of Palestine refugees from across the region in 2014, the agency says this is likely a conservative estimate of the number of people forced back.
Deputy Secretary-General calls on the international community to act to prevent atrocities against minorities
In an address to the 7th annual UN Forum on Minority Issues on 25 November in Geneva, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson spoke of the unfolding tragedy in Iraq and Syria where Christians, Turkmens, Yezidis and other minorities have been targeted for the most brutal atrocities. He emphasized that it is the duty of the international community to draw lessons from these horrific events and to take action to prevent them. “We cannot continue to say never again”, he said.
The United Nations as a whole and all Member States must renew our commitments and intensify our efforts to promote and protect minority rights worldwide, he added, noting the role the UN Forum (which was established in 2007) can play in helping understand the nature of these crimes, their root causes and inherent dynamics.
UNRWA has warned that Palestine refugees from Syria face an increasingly grave situation in the Middle East caused by closed borders and a series of forced returns from neighbouring countries.
The already vulnerable Palestine population is forced to take life threatening risks, such as attempting to escape by boat on the Mediterranean, often with tragic consequences.
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Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria
DPI Focus Page on Syria:
UN humanitarian agencies :