Under-Secretary General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos statement to the media on Syria

 UN Emergency Coordinator Valerie Amos has told reporters after briefing the Security Council that the founding values of the UN and the responsibility of a State to look after its own people are being violated every day in Syria.

Good afternoon and thank you everyone.

It is now two months since Resolution 2319 was adopted. As you know, the Secretary-General
presented his report to the Council last week. It makes very grim reading.

Far from getting better, the situation is getting worse.

Violence has intensified over the past month, taking a horrific toll on ordinary Syrians. In the
past weekend alone, scores of women, men and children were killed and injured by bombs and
mortars in both opposition- and Government-held areas of Aleppo.

I told the Council that I’m extremely concerned by the continued evidence of violations, by all
parties, of the most fundamental provisions of human rights and humanitarian law.

These are not just words. We’ve all seen the appalling impact: heartrending pictures of children
pulled from the rubble – and some of you will have seen today’s statement by UNICEF – and of
families cowering in ruined buildings and medical teams racing to save lives under fire.

UN agencies and their partners continue to provide millions of Syrians with humanitarian
assistance. Over three million children were vaccinated as part of the polio campaign in April.
Food aid was dispatched for just over four million people, and nearly 17 million people got water
and sanitation.

But it is not enough.

I am extremely concerned that less than ten per cent of the 242,000 people living in besieged
areas received assistance in the past four weeks.

I told the Council that there has been little progress since my last briefing, and in fact I told them
that each month I report on the relentless killing and maiming of civilians, the destruction of
homes, schools and places of worship, the blatant disregard for life and the total disregard by all
parties for the fundamental tenets of international humanitarian law. The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.

The parties appear to be engaged in an endless spiral of targeting and harming civilians for
tactical purposes.

I told the Council that in my reports I have demonstrated time and time again the minimal impact
of the approach being taken so far, and that public pressure and private diplomacy has yielded
very little.

I also told the Council that the UN is a multilateral organization. Its founding values set the
framework for the way in which we work. In Syria, those founding values and the responsibility
of a state to look after its own people are being violated every day, and I think the onus rests on
the Council to not only recognize that reality, but to act on it.

Thank you very much.

Additional Information

The recent Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2139 (2014) (S/2014/295) is the second report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 17 of Security Council resolution 2139 (2014) , in which the Security Council requested the Secretary – General to report, every 30 days, on the implementation of the resolution by all parties in the Syrian Arab Republic.The report covers the period from 22 March to 21 April 2014.

The Secretary-General has condemned in the strongest terms the car bombing and mortar shelling in the Zahra neighbourhood in central Homs yesterday, which killed and wounded dozens of civilians. In Damascus, mortar fire has again targeted civilian areas, hitting a technical institute.  These are horrendous acts of terror against innocent civilians.