Tag Archives: Syria

Following airstrikes, UN chief warns against escalation over Syria

The United Nations Secretary-General has called on the international community to avoid actions which could escalate the crisis in Syria and deepen the suffering of its people.

António Guterres made the appeal late on Friday evening just hours after the United States, France and Britain launched air strikes targeting sites associated with the country’s chemical weapons capabilities.

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Statement: Spokesman for the Secretary-General

On the situation in Douma, Syria

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about renewed and intensive violence in Douma in Eastern Ghouta over the last 36 hours, following a period of relative calm. Reports include sustained airstrikes and shelling on Douma, killing of civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure, and attacks damaging several health facilities. There has also been shelling on Damascus city, reportedly killing civilians. The Secretary-General calls on all parties to cease fighting and restore the calm that had been in place, and adhere fully to Security Council resolution 2401 (2018). He reiterates there is no military solution to the conflict.

The Secretary-General is particularly alarmed by allegations that chemical weapons have been used against civilian populations in Douma. While the United Nations is not in a position to verify these reports, the Secretary-General notes that any use of chemical weapons, if confirmed, is abhorrent, and requires a thorough investigation.

It is critical that civilians be protected. The Secretary-General calls on all sides to ensure respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, including humanitarian access across Syria to all people in need, as per relevant Security Council resolutions.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

New York, 8 April 2018

Syrian Crisis – United Nations Response

United Nations Department of Public Information Syria Update. 

The DPI Syria Update  covers, among others:

• The joint appeal by the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization for peace and humanitarian access as the Syria conflict enters its eighth year;
• The UN’s concerns about the large displacement of civilians due to ongoing fighting in the northern city of Afrin; and
• Secretary-General António Guterres’ briefing to the Security Council on the situation in Eastern Ghouta.

The update, issued on a weekly basis, aims at providing an overview of the latest UN activities in response to the crisis, based on UN sources.

Secretary-General on the Terrorist Attacks in Damascus

We condemn the terrorist attacks in the Syrian capital of Damascus yesterday. We are appalled by the utter disregard for human life displayed by the perpetrators. We express our condolences to the families of the victims of the incident and wish those injured a speedy recovery. Those responsible for the attacks must be held accountable.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 4 July 2017

UN Chief Appoints Head of Panel Laying Groundwork For Possible War Crimes Probe In Syria

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Catherine Marchi-Uhel of France as the head of the independent panel to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for most serious violations of international law in Syria.

The panel, formally known as the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Those Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011, was established by the UN General Assembly in December last year more

UN envoy maps out ‘ideal trajectory’ to next round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva

28 June 2017 – The United Nations mediator for the conflict in Syria today mapped out what needs to happen in the next two weeks before the next round of intra-Syrian talks begins on 10 July in Geneva, Switzerland.

“We are at a time of testing whether the political will exists for real de-escalation and more meaningful political talks and move beyond preparatory talks,” Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, told the Security Council via videoconference from Geneva.

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STATEMENT ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON SYRIA

I continue to follow the situation in Syria closely and with grave concern.

I was abhorred by the chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria, and the death and injury of many innocent civilians.

I have long stated that there needs to be accountability for such crimes, in line with existing international norms and Security Council resolutions.

I have been following reports of the air strikes against the Shayrat Airbase in Syria conducted by the United States.

Mindful of the risk of escalation, I appeal for restraint to avoid any acts that could deepen the suffering of the Syrian people.

These events underscore my belief that there is no other way to solve the conflict than through a political solution. I call on the parties to urgently renew their commitment to making progress in the Geneva talks.

A political solution also remains essential for progress in the fight against terrorism.

The Security Council has the primary responsibility for international peace and security. I call on the Council to unite and exercise that responsibility.

For too long, international law has been ignored in the Syrian conflict, and it is our shared duty to uphold international standards of humanity.  This is a prerequisite to ending the unrelenting suffering of the people of Syria.

New York, 7 April 2017

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UN Secretary-General’s Spokesman on alleged chemical weapons attack in Idlib

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for
the Secretary-General on alleged chemical weapons attack in Idlib

The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed by the reports of alleged use of chemical weapons in an airstrike in the Khan Shaykhun area of southern Idlib, Syria. The Secretary-General expresses his heartfelt condolences to victims of the incident and their families.

The United Nations is not currently in a position to independently verify these reports. The OPCW Fact Finding Mission has announced that it has begun gathering information to attempt to confirm if chemical weapons were used.

The Secretary-General recalls that the Security Council previously determined that the use of chemical weapons anywhere constitutes a threat to international peace and security and, that it affirmed that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a serious violation of international law.
Stéphane Dujarric

Spokesman for the Secretary-General

New York, 4 April 2017