Syria, 17 September 2014 – Secretary-General calls for decisive action to address ISIS threat
Speaking to journalists on 16 September, ahead of the opening of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, the Secretary-General noted that the ISIS is a threat to international peace and security as has already been declared by the Security Council.
He urged the international community to act decisively to address this threat, stressing that it was critical to keep the protection of civilians issue at the forefront.
Serry says political measures are needed to end appalling violence in Syria
During a briefing to the Security Council on the Middle East on 16 September, UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry said that the situation in Syria had been developing at an alarming pace. He underlined the Secretary-General’s appreciation of Member States’ efforts to stop the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Al-Nusra Front, calling for those efforts to be accompanied by political measures to end the appalling violence in Syria.
UN humanitarian chiefs urge more assistance for refugees in Lebanon
On 17 September, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, and the head of the UN Development Programme, Helen Clark, called for more support to help Lebanon deal with the flow of Syrian refugees. During a visit to Syrian refugees in Deir El Ahmar, in the Bekka Valley, they stressed the need for a shift in the international response to the crisis: not only should assistance flow to refugees, said Guterres and Clark, but increasingly it must also flow to host communities in neighbouring countries to help them cope with the burden. Lebanon has taken the largest share of refugees from the three-year Syrian conflict. “The international community is not doing enough for Lebanon,” Guterres said, adding that, “Preserving Lebanon’s stability is everybody’s business.”
Commission of Inquiry: brutal crimes continue to be committed by all warring parties in Syria
The Chair of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Paulo Pinheiro, told the Human Rights Council on 16 September that the war in Syria was worsening every day and he had run out of words to depict the gravity of the crimes committed inside Syria. Presenting the Commission’s latest report, he said that opposition armed groups continued to commit crimes with no regard for international law. He added, however, that ISIS and the anti-Government armed groups were not the only agents of death in Syria. The Syrian Government remains responsible for the majority of the civilian casualties. Noting that the Syrian conflict would not be resolved on the battlefield, Pinheiro said that the rise of ISIS emphasised the need for the Government and the opposition to find common ground and commit to making compromises needed to reach a comprehensive political settlement.
UNICEF and WHO deeply concerned about reported death of children in Idlib
On 17 September, the UN Deputy Spokesperson said that UNICEF and WHO were deeply concerned by the reported deaths on that day of a number of children in the Idlib area of Syria. “These deaths reportedly occurred in a location where a measles vaccination campaign was taking place, and as a precautionary measure we understand that the local health authorities have suspended the campaign in the district pending an investigation. We are awaiting further clarification of the facts”, he added. “Measles is a major threat to children in Syria and the campaigns are vital to protect them from this highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease”, the agencies stressed.
UN Twitter account
Watch UN Commission of Inquiry on #Syria present report to UN Human Rights Council: http://ow.ly/BxZv8 #HRC27
– 16 Sep 2014
UN Radio in Arabic
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Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria
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