A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information
No. 53 / 30 July 2014
Aid access to civilians continues to be obstructed by all parties to the conflict, says the UN Humanitarian Chief
UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos briefed the Security Council on 30 July on progress in the implementation of resolutions 2139 and 2165 (2014) on humanitarian access in Syria.She noted that attacks on civilians and human rights abusesby all parties to the conflict continue in flagrant violation of international humanitarian and human rights laws. In addition, attacks on medical facilities have reached their highest levels since December 2012. Ms. Amos said aid delivery to people in hard-to-reach areas had further dropped in July due to the centralization of Government approvals, while arbitrary restrictions by opposition groups are also obstructing humanitarian access, particularly in the eastern governorates of Syria.
In his latest report to the Council on humanitarian access in Syria, the Secretary-General noted that all parties have continued to obstruct relief assistance to those most in need and to withhold consent for operations in a completely arbitrary manner as a tactic of war. The Secretary-General urged that the parties lift the sieges immediately and facilitate access to people in need of humanitarian assistance. To date, more than 10 million people continue to be in need of urgent humanitarian assistance within Syria, including 6.4 million people who are internally displaced. It is now estimated that 4.7 million people reside in areas that are hard to reach. This includes at least 241,000 people who continue to live in areas that are besieged by either Government or opposition forces.
Security Council voices concern over reported seizure of oilfields by terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq
In a statement released on 28 July, the Security Council stressed the obligation of all States to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, and expressed its grave concern over reports of access to and seizure of oilfields and pipelines in Syria and Iraq. The Council reminded States that that they must ensure that no one in their territory engages in any commercial or financial transactions with or for the benefit of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and Jabhat Al-Nusra, notably with respect to oil from Syria and Iraq. It also noted that such an engagement constitutes financial support for terrorists and might lead to further sanctions listings.
Medical supplies reach the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp for the first time in six months
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on 28 July that for the first time in six months, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) was able to distribute basic healthcare items and medicines to Palestine refugees in need in the Yarmouk camp. However, on the following day the agency said that food distribution was halted due to a lack of authorization. It said this was to be resumed on 31 July, following the completion of the Eid al-Fitr period.
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Arms race in Syria must be stopped to reduce civilian suffering, says head of UN panel
As ‘gross human rights violations’ continue in Syria, the head of a United Nations-appointed human rights probe implored Member States on July 25 to stop supplying weapons to both sides. Speaking to the media, the Chair of the IndependentCommission of Inquiry on Syria underscored that there was no military solution to the conflict and echoed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s calls for an arms embargo on the country. “This arms race must be stopped,” said Paulo SérgioPinheiro. “We would like very much that the different Member States will interrupt their support in terms of weapons, of arms, for both sides.” He added that the Commission continues to document and collect evidence which will one day be used for accountability, “but this conflict is already in its fourth year and this impunity continues unabated.”
Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria
DPI Focus Page on Syria:
OPCW-UN Joint Mission
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