A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information
No.43 / 14 May 2014
Joint Special Representative LakhdarBrahimi steps down
The Secretary-General announced on 13 May that he had regretfully accepted the resignation of LakhdarBrahimi. The UN-League of Arab States Joint Special Representative will relinquish his duties on 31 May, after nearly two years in thepost. Noting that in seeking an end to the brutal and still worsening civil war in Syria Mr. Brahimi had faced almost impossible odds, the Secretary-General said “thathis efforts have not received effective support from the United Nations body that is charged with upholding peace and security, and from countries with influence on the Syria situation, is a failure of all of us.”In his remarks, the Secretary-General regretted that “the parties, and especially the Government, have proven so reluctant to take advantage of that opportunity to end the country’s profound misery”. He also reiterated his appeal to both sides to show the wisdom and sense of responsibility that could allow a way out of this nightmare.
During a subsequent press briefing, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General said that the United Nations will now prioritize its discussions on evaluating what the focus and approach of the UN’s future political engagement should be. Asked about the Geneva process, the Spokesman said that the principles of the Geneva process would continue to guide the way forward. He noted that the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 has established extremely important and valuable principles and points of agreement between the US and Russia, along with all the participants of the Geneva 2 conference.
One family flees inside Syria every 60 seconds – Report
On 14 May, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), together with UNHCR,released a report revealing that over 33 million people were internally displaced by conflict at the end of 2013. According to the survey, Syria remains the largest and fastest evolving displacement crisis in the world with 9,500 people a day (approximately one family every 60 seconds) being displaced inside the country. “We should all be concerned about these numbers and the continuing upwards trend. We have a shared responsibility to act to end this massive suffering. Immediate protection and assistance for the internally displaced is a humanitarian imperative”, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees AntónioGuterres.
UN aid convoy reaches northwestern Aleppo for the first time in nearly two years
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) reported on 12 May that for the first time in almost two years a humanitarian convoyof 20 trucksreached hard to access towns in northwestern rural Aleppo.Over the course of two days, a joint inter-agency and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) team, including the World Food Program (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS) and OCHA transported life-saving supplies to six towns.The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, Mr. Yacoub El Hillo, explained that “efforts by the United Nations and its partners to access civilians wherever found with needs-based humanitarian assistance will continue. Reaching these areas, some of which have not been accessed since August last year and others for over 23 months, will only motivate us to do more.”
Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria
DPI Focus Page on Syria:
OPCW-UN Joint Mission
UN Humanitarian agencies
UN on social media: