New York, NY, 19 February 2020 — This morning, the United Nations Security Council is meeting once again to discuss the situation in Syria. Since December, 900,000 desperate Syrians, more than half of whom are children, have been forced to flee – 100,000 in the last week alone. A humanitarian catastrophe – the worst since the conflict began nearly 9 years ago - is rapidly unfolding before our eyes and still the Council has failed to act.
What is needed now is an urgent ceasefire resolution - which the Council has the power to adopt without delay. The failure of Council members to unite around this most basic aspect of its mandate - protecting civilians and easing humanitarian suffering - is calling into question the Council’s credibility.
The IRC calls on the UN Security Council to issue an immediate ceasefire resolution at this morning's meeting and spare the egregious human cost of any further violence. This is what the resolution should look like. Anything less is an abandonment of Syrian civilians and a serious blow to the authority and global standing of the Council.
“Expressing grave concern at the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Northwest Syria and ongoing violations of international humanitarian law by parties to the conflict, the Security Council -
- Demands that all parties cease hostilities in northwest Syria immediately;
- Demands that all parties allow and facilitate safe, unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access for the UN and its implementing partners to all populations in need inside Syria via the most direct routes;
- Demands that all parties immediately comply with their obligations under international law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians as well as to ensure the respect and protection of all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities;
- Requests that the UN Secretary General report back to the Council within 24 hours of the implementation of this resolution.”