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U.N. Council Unite Over Syria Resolution

According to the United Nations, 9.3 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Published: February 26, 2014 (Issue # 1799)



  • The U.N. Security Council voted on a resolution on Syrias humanitarian crisis at the U.N. headquarters on Feb. 22.
    Photo: Bebeto Matthews / AP

UNITED NATIONS (AP) The U.N. Security Council united for the first time on a resolution on Syrias humanitarian crisis on Feb. 22, demanding that President Bashar Assads government and the opposition provide immediate access everywhere in the country to deliver aid to millions of people in desperate need.

The fate of the Western and Arab-backed resolution rested with Russia, Syrias closest ally, and China, another supporter.

Related: UN Condemns Attack on Russian Embassy in Syria

After two weeks of negotiations and a watering-down of the original text, they decided to join the rest of the 15-member council in sending a strong message, especially to the Assad government, that food, medicine and other essentials must not be blocked to civilians caught in the three-year conflict.

Today the council has finally shown that whatever its political differences over Syria, it was not entirely indifferent to the devastating humanitarian crisis, Britains U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said after the vote.

According to the United Nations, 9.3 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance and 6.8 million have fled their homes but remain in the country.

Related: Russia Sees Victory in UN Syria Resolution

The resolution does not threaten sanctions Russia insisted that this reference be dropped from the original text. Instead, it asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report to the council every 30 days on implementation and expresses the councils intention to take further steps if the resolutions demands arent fulfilled.

All Security Council resolutions are legally binding, but what remains to be seen is whether this resolution has an impact on the ground, especially since it doesnt have real teeth.

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos expressed hope in a statement that it will facilitate the delivery of aid to people in desperate need in Syria.

Calling the resolution a long overdue measure to alleviate the worst humanitarian crisis of this generation, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said that as hard as it was to win council approval, the harder issue is implementation.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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