Highlights of UN events during the week of 24 July 2017, including discussions on a global compact on migration, a Security Council briefing on Syria, World Hepatitis Day and more.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 4 April 2017
Top stories from the UN News Centre, during the week of 2 – 6 January 2017, featuring: UN welcomes new Secretary-General António Guterres and water crisis in Syrian capital Damascus.
Includes: The provision of urgent assistance by UN agencies and partners to civilians displaced in Aleppo following the end of the fighting; the adoption by the Security Council of a resolution on a ceasefire across Syria; and the UN’s concerns about the lack of water supply affecting four million inhabitants in Damascus, and UN’s call for donor support for displaced civilians in Aleppo More
The Special Envoy welcomes the announcement of a nationwide ceasefire between the Government of Syria and armed opposition groups in Syria, to come into effect at 00:00 hours on Friday, 30 December 2016. The Special Envoy notes that a comprehensive cessation of hostilities remains a cornerstone of the framework laid down in Security Council resolution 2254 (2015). The Special Envoy hopes that the implementation of the agreement will save civilian lives, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance across Syria, and pave the way for productive talks in Astana.
The Special Envoy is of the view that these developments should contribute to inclusive and productive intra-Syrian negotiations to be convened under UN auspices on 8 February 2017.
Geneva, 29 December 2016
JE: Thanks really for waiting. We just finished a difficult humanitarian taskforce meeting. Why is it difficult, because the member states that are supposed to help us get access to civilians in the crossfire are poles apart in how they regard what is happening in Syria. We are not having a united humanitarian diplomacy on the parties and we see that in a diminishing access on the ground.
The December plan for access cross front line was approved finally by the government of Syria and we had 800,000 of the 930,000 people we asked to get access to, were granted permission for.