Note to Correspondents – Transcript of Joint Stakeout by UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura and UN Senior Adviser,  Mr. Jan Egeland

Geneva, 15 September 2016

SdeM: Sorry for changing hours but you can imagine there have been a lot of internal discussions and there has been a lot verification with the field as well.  So I will say a few words then as usual give the floor to Jan Egeland and we will be taking some questions.

Let me start by saying that the Russian-American, American-Russian agreement last Friday is and remains, and is indeed, potentially a game-changer, on three areas, three areas, let me remind ourselves about them so we can go through them.

The first one is the reduction of violence – talking about cessation of hostilities perhaps is an ambitious word after a war of five years, but reduction of violence, yes.  The reduction of violence, and you will be having further reports we will get after we verify today, is by and large frankly holding, in fact it has been substantial.

Second point, the second dividend of the Russian-American, American-Russian agreement was and remains humanitarian access, that is what makes the difference for the people, apart from seeing no more bombs or mortar shelling taking place.  On that one, we have a problem and let me explain where and then will go to more details.