UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Senior UN officials Saturday
welcomed a resolution on Syria's humanitarian crisis, calling for
boosting aid access across the war-torn country and easing the
suffering of millions of people in desperate need.
The UN Security Council, in a meeting rare on Saturday,
unanimously adopted the resolution to urge an immediate and
unhindered access of humanitarian aid in Syria, where armed
conflict has been going on for nearly three years.
Through the resolution, the council demanded an immediate end to
all forms of violence in the country and strongly condemned the
rise of al-Qaida-affiliated terror attacks.
The Security Council members insisted that all parties cease
attacking civilians, including through the indiscriminate use of
weapons in populated areas, such as shelling and aerial bombardment
with barrel bombs.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who participated in the
meeting, welcomed the resolution but noted that it "should not have
been necessary" as humanitarian assistance is not something to be
negotiated but allowed by virtue of international law.
The resolution, which highlights again the urgent need to end
the conflict, "strengthens the council's engagement in protecting
civilians and ensuring the delivery of relief," he said.
The UN chief expressed profound shock that both sides are
besieging civilians as a tactic of war, and noted that reports of
human rights violations continue, including massacres, as well as
sexual and gender-based violence against children.
"Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict," he said.
"They are the daily victims of brutal violence and indiscriminate
attacks, including the use of heavy weapons, aerial bombings,
mortars and car bombs in population areas."
These heinous acts are unacceptable and must stop immediately,
he said, urging all combating parties in Syria must abide by their
obligations under international humanitarian law.
Stressing the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in
the country, he said that, "Half the country's people need urgent
assistance. Host countries need support in caring for more than 2.5
Well over 100,000 people have been killed and an estimated 9
million others driven from their homes since the conflict erupted
between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and various groups seeking
his ouster in March 2011.
According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are currently
more than 2.4 million refugees registered in the region: some 932,
000 in Lebanon; 574,000 in Jordan; some 613,000 in Turkey; 223,000
in Iraq; and about 134,000 in Egypt.
Despite the dangerous circumstances, Ban said, UN humanitarian
agencies and the partners are reaching millions of people. "While
the political process continues, we will continue to do all we can
to provide relief and protection to people in need on the
"But too many millions are beyond our reach. And funding
continues to fall short; I urge the international community to step
up its contributions," he said.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency
Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said she hopes the passing of the
resolution will facilitate delivery of aid.
In a statement, she underscored the importance of protecting
ordinary people, who have been bearing the brunt of the violence in
"More than anything the conflict needs to end so that people can
begin to rebuild their lives. Syria is in danger of losing a
generation of its children. Children are the future. We must
protect them," she said. Enditem