“Children, whether in the northeast or elsewhere inside Syria, must not be abandoned while the walls of war close in around them”, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement issued on Monday. More
Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and
Karen Smith, United Nations Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect,
on the situation in northeast Syrian Arab Republic
(New York, 15 October 2019) United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, and the United Nations Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, Karen Smith, expressed their alarm over the current situation in northeast Syria following the launch of a military operation by Turkey on 09 October.
The Special Advisers stated that “the civilians of Syria continue to live through one of the worst conflicts of our time, with repeated violations of their basic rights and protections guaranteed under international law. This latest escalation of the conflict again puts civilians at grave risk. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has reported on several civilian casualties, including allegations of summary executions, and humanitarian actors report that at least 160,000 civilians have been displaced in the six days since the start of the military operation.”
The Special Advisers stressed that Turkish authorities and all parties to the conflict in Syria need to ensure strict adherence to the legal obligation to protect civilians. This is the responsibility of all State and non-State actors. No civilian should be forced to leave their home against their will. In addition, any return of refugees needs to be voluntary and when conditions are safe for them to do so sustainably. The Special Advisers also urged the international community, and the Security Council in particular, to do more to uphold the responsibility to protect civilians in the Syrian conflict. The repeated failure of the Security Council to speak with a united voice and to take action to protect civilian populations at risk of serious violations goes against the responsibility to protect principle, a commitment made by all Member States.
The Special Advisers reiterated calls for de-escalation and for a political solution to the Syria crisis stating that “far too many civilians have already been victims of atrocity crimes in Syria since the start of the conflict in 2011 and millions of Syrians remain at risk of these crimes. Until there is a sustainable political solution to the crisis, one in which all communities in the country have a voice and their rights can be protected, the risk of atrocity crimes remains a reality”.
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Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect
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.
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
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.
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