News in Brief 05 February 2016 (PM)

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François Delattre. UN Photo/Manuel Elias.

Syria making no concessions for peace

The Syrian government is making no concessions for peace and has intensified attacks against oppositions groups with the support of Russia.

That's according to the French Ambassador to the United Nations.

Peace talks in Geneva to find an end to the 5-year long civil war have been put on hold.

On Friday, a special session of the Security Council heard from the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura.

After that closed meeting, Ambassador François Delattre had this to say.

“The presentation by Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura confirms what we already knew; the Syrian regime and its allies have made no concession; quite the contrary. On the one hand, the Syrian regime claims to discuss peace in Geneva and on the other hand, it intensifies its military offensive against opposition groups with which is supposed to discuss and imposes on the city of Aleppo an unprecedented torrent of fire, all of this with Russia’s military support.”

Vitaly Churkin, the Russian Ambassador to the UN said the Syrian regime did not cause the breakdown of the talks in Geneva.

“The opposition group which presented itself as the main participant from the opposition, in our view, did not really come to negotiate, they came to look for a pretext to walk out of the negotiations. We are disappointed that the opposition was not as representative as it is supposed to be.”

And he said Russian military action had eased the humanitarian situation.

“Some colleagues, yes, they did criticize Russia for continuing this bombing campaign with the help of which the Syrian government has been able to reconquer some ground which was taken from their control by terrorists and other opposition groups. In fact, I’d like to point out, that in the area of Aleppo, some sieges were lifted which had been there for a couple of years. So, in the process of this offensive, in a way, some humanitarian objectives have also been achieved.”

Military operations in Aleppo, Syria cause 20,000 to flee

Meanwhile, the military operations around Aleppo in Syria have reportedly triggered the displacement of thousands of people.

It is estimated that up to 20,000 people have gathered at the Bab al Salam crossing on the Turkish border and another 5,000 to 10,000 people have been displaced to Azaz city.

A further 10,000 people are estimated to have been displaced to Afrin.

Here's the UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

"The fighting has also disrupted major aid and supply routes from the Turkish border. Humanitarian organizations are responding to the needs of those displaced, but ongoing conflict is making access to populations in need increasingly difficult."

Migration fueling "political, economic, moral and social crisis"

The world is facing a political, economic, moral and social crisis as governments and communities grapple with the effects of unprecedented numbers of people fleeing their homes. That's according to the top United Nations migration official.

According to UN figures more than 43 million people worldwide are now forcibly displaced as a result of conflict and persecution, the highest number since the mid-1990s.

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration is Peter Sutherland.

"This is the year of migration and multilateralism, and if it isn't it should be. Because the world, as we all know, is facing a political crisis, a moral crisis, an economic and social crisis all of which are intimately connected with the issue of migration."

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 3’35″

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