UNITED NATIONS, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Monday authorized the cross-border delivery of humanitarian assistance to Syrians in urgent need.
In a resolution adopted unanimously here, the 15-nation Security Council expressed "grave alarm at the significant and rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria" and deplored the fact that its previous demands "have not been heeded by the Syrian parties to the conflict."
The Security Council authorized the United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners to use routes across conflict lines and four additional border crossings "in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance, including medical and surgical supplies, reaches people in need throughout Syria through the most direct routes, with notification to the Syrian authorities," said the resolution.
The four border crossings included Al-Ramtha on the Syrian border with Jordan, Al Yarubiyah on the Iraq border, and Bab al- Salam and Bab al-Hawa from Turkey.
The Security Council also decided to establish "a monitoring mechanism" to monitor the loading of all humanitarian relief consignments for passage into Syria across the border crossings, " in order to confirm the humanitarian nature of these relief consignments."
According to the new resolution, cross-border and cross-line humanitarian access and the monitoring mechanism have been authorized for 180 days, after which the authorization and mechanism will be reviewed.
The Security Council's action on Monday is a follow-up to its previous resolution adopted on Feb. 22 that demanded rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access in Syria. However, the United Nations said that resolution failed to make a difference.
As the Security Council noted in the Monday resolution, "the number of Syrian people in need of assistance has grown to over 10 million, including 6.4 million internally displaced persons and over 4.5 million living in hard-to-reach areas, and that over 240, 000 are trapped in besieged areas."
Therefore, it decided that "all Syrian parties to the conflict shall enable the immediate and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance directly to people throughout Syria, by the United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners, on the basis of United Nations assessments of need and devoid of any political prejudices and aims, including by immediately removing all impediments to the provision of humanitarian assistance."
The most powerful UN body further "notes in this regard the role that ceasefire agreements that are consistent with humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law could play to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance in order to help save civilian lives," said the resolution.
Urging all Syrian parties to take all appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of United Nations and associated personnel, the Security Council affirmed that it will "take further measures" in the event of non-compliance with this resolution or the February resolution by any Syrian party.
It also reiterated that "the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process with a view to full implementation of the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012" and welcomed the recent appointment of Staffan de Mistura as the new Special Envoy for Syria.