GENEVA / SYRIA DE MISTURA EGELAND

07-Dec-2017 00:03:45
The current epicenter of human suffering in Syria's ongoing civil war, the area of Eastern Ghouta in the suburbs of Damascus, is still getting no aid relief for desperate civilians, according to a bleak assessment by Jan Egeland, the Senior Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / SYRIA DE MISTURA EGELAND
TRT: 3:45
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 07 DECEMBER 2017, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Med shot, podium
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Egeland, Senior Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria:
“The epicentre of suffering is however Eastern Ghouta. 400,000 people are there.”
4. Med shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Egeland, Senior Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria:
“Six months ago a very detailed evacuation plan was delivered to the government for needy cases of evacuation because of medical grounds from Eastern Ghouta.”
6. Med shot, journalist taking notes
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Egeland, Senior Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria:
“In the revised list, ten patients have died and (we) just got the names of two more cases, so a total of 12 have died on this waiting list. And they wait a half an hour drive from the hospitals in Damascus and elsewhere that stand ready to help and save lives.”
8. Med shot, photographer
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Egeland, Senior Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria:
“They cause no harm in their lives. Can the men who sit on that list please sign it off so that our ambulances can take them out of this hellish place which is now Eastern Ghouta and we can now save their lives.”
10. Med shot, journalists
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Egeland, Senior Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria:
“I feel that I have failed; I feel that we have not been able to fix it. It is very, very heartbreaking to get photos every day from children who are increasingly malnourished and who are increasingly dying, and not being able to help them.”
12. Med shot, cameraperson
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria:
“We shall assess the behaviour on both sides, government and opposition in Geneva, and based on that we will then decide how this, as we said at the Security Council, can be a building up or not, or a sabotage of Geneva. If that is the case, we will draw our own conclusions.”
14. Wide shot, journalists
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria:
“So the bottom line is we are expecting the government to come back on Sunday, we are having the opposition still here; we will engage both of them expecting no preconditions and on the 12 points and on the constitution and election, and based on that we will be assessing whether there is any serious intention, not only in Geneva, but what goes wrong in Geneva is a very bad sign for any other initiative elsewhere.”
16. Med, journalists
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria:
“As you know the government delegation has left for a recess. We had a recess for during the weekend. The work has continued with the opposition delegation, unified opposition delegation, and we have been able to go quite a lot in discussions with them, both on the 12 points, on the four baskets and with a particular emphasis from our point of view in particular about basket two and basket three, which I remind you is the constitutional issues and the elections under UN supervision. All that was done with us and without any precondition.”
18. Med shot, journalists
19. Med shot, journalists
20. Med shot, camerapersons
STORYLINE
A UN Senior Advisor expressed his deep sense of frustration at obstacles that are put in front of the international community's efforts to save lives in Syria.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (07 Dec) Jan Egeland, Senior Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria said “the epicentre of suffering is Eastern Ghouta with 400,000 people living there.”

He added “six months ago a very detailed evacuation plan was delivered to the government for needy cases of evacuation because of medical grounds from Eastern Ghouta.”

According to Egeland, twelve people are awaiting evacuation from the government-besieged suburbs of Damascus have recently died.

The Syrian Government has not approved evacuations for the 494 people on the UN's list of critical cases, which include: 73 severe cancer cases, 22 patients who suffer kidney failures, 27 people with heart disease, as well as five acutely malnourished children and six acute mental health cases.

Egeland said that “in the revised list, ten patients have died and (we) just got the names of two more cases, so a total of 12 have died on this waiting list. And they wait a half an hour drive from the hospitals in Damascus and elsewhere that stand ready to help and save lives.”

The humanitarian advisor pointed out three young children suffering from serious diseases saying that “they caused no harm in their lives. Can the men who sit on that list please sign it off so that our ambulances can take them out of this hellish place which is now Eastern Ghouta and we can now save their lives?”

The UN's Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura added that there was no such failure, because the international communities was not "giving up."

The intra-Syrian talks aimed at finding durable political solutions to the Syria crisis are currently ongoing in Geneva, but the UN and the Syrian opposition delegation are both awaiting the return of the Syrian government delegation, which left Geneva on Friday. Their return has now been announced for Sunday, 10 December.

De Mistura said “we shall assess the behaviour on both sides, government and opposition in Geneva, and based on that we will then decide how this, as we said at the Security Council, can be a building up or not, or a sabotage of Geneva. If that is the case, we will draw our own conclusions.”

He reiterated “the bottom line is we are expecting the government to come back on Sunday, we are having the opposition still here," adding that will engage both of them expecting no preconditions and on the 12 points and on the constitution and election, and based on that we will be assessing whether there is any serious intention, not only in Geneva, but what goes wrong in Geneva is a very bad sign for any other initiative elsewhere.”

De Mistura said, in referring to the 12 points of commonalities regarding the end-state of Syria, and the discussion tracks regarding the drafting of a new constitution and UN-monitored elections that are meant to be the focus of the current discussions between the two parties.

Resuming the current ongoing talks, the UN Special Envoy for Syria said “as you know the government delegation has left for a recess. We had a recess for during the weekend. The work has continued with the opposition delegation, unified opposition delegation, and we have been able to go quite a lot in discussions with them, both on the 12 points, on the four baskets and with a particular emphasis from our point of view in particular about basket two and basket three, which I remind you is the constitutional issues and the elections under UN supervision. All that was done with us and without any precondition.”
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