UN / SYRIA HUMANITARIAN

Preview Language:   Original
26-Feb-2019 00:02:48
A top UN humanitarian official said the UN welcomes all efforts to ease the suffering of people stranded at Syria’s Rukban, however, these efforts “need to ensure that any return or relocation is voluntary, safe, dignified and well-informed, and abides by core protection standards in line with international humanitarian and human rights law.” UNIFEED

Available Languages: Arabic, English, Russian
Type
Language
Format
Acquire
/
Arabic
Other Formats
Description
STORY: UN / SYRIA HUMANITARIAN
TRT: 2:48
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 26 FEBRUARY 2019, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

26 FEBRUARY 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Pan right, Syrian ambassador joining meeting
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Reena Ghelani, Director for Operations and Advocacy Division, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“The UN welcomes all efforts to ease the suffering of people stranded at Rukban and to identify durable solutions. These efforts, however, need to ensure that any return or relocation is voluntary, safe, dignified and well-informed, and abides by core protection standards in line with international humanitarian and human rights law. Dialogue is ongoing with communities in Rukban, the Russian Federation, the Syrian authorities and others to ensure that this will be the case in any relocation process.”
5. Wide shot, Security Council
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Reena Ghelani, Director for Operations and Advocacy Division, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“Extremely harsh conditions are reported along the route north, including cold temperatures and a lack of food, water, shelter and health services. At least 75 people, two-thirds of them children under the age of one, have died since December 2018, either while in transit or shortly after arriving in the Al Hol camp, mostly due to exposure and a lack of access to healthcare.”
7. Wide shot, Security Council
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Reena Ghelani, Director for Operations and Advocacy Division, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“I reiterate today that the risk of military escalation, and of potentially catastrophic humanitarian consequences, persists. It is therefore critical to sustain and fully implement the Russia-Turkey agreement of 17 September 2018.”
9. Wide shot, Security Council
10. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“The situation in the northwest of Syria is unstable and cannot be artificially contained for a long time. The threat coming from the fighters for the Al Nusra alliance, Hay’at Tahrir Al Sham, which has practically completely taken the territory under their control cannot disappear by itself. Appeals to freeze the situation simply encourage the terrorists. In this connection, together with our Turkish and Iranian partners, we have continued efforts to develop a formula which would make it possible to combat the terrorist threat without harming the civilian population.”
11. Med shot, Ghelani
12. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Jaafari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“This in and of itself proves that the reasons for convening the Brussels Conferences, in its three versions, are absolutely not humanitarian concerns, rather they are political motives that are exclusively hostile to the Syrian State with the view of extending the life of terrorism and continuing to use the humanitarian aspect as blackmail.”
13. Wide shot, Security Council

STORYLINE:

A top UN humanitarian official said the UN welcomes all efforts to ease the suffering of people stranded at Syria’s Rukban, however, these efforts “need to ensure that any return or relocation is voluntary, safe, dignified and well-informed, and abides by core protection standards in line with international humanitarian and human rights law.”

Addressing the Security Council today (26 Feb), Reena Ghelani, Director for Operations and Advocacy for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said the UN had not been involved in the opening of humanitarian corridors from the makeshift settlement, but it was in dialogue with the communities in Rukban, the Russian Federation, the Syrian authorities and others “to ensure that this will be the case in any relocation process.”

Ghelani said earlier this month the UN and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent carried out the largest and one of the most complex convoys since the start of the conflict. The convoy to Rukban involved 133 trucks of humanitarian assistance, vaccines and logistical items. She said the teams on the ground carried out intentions surveys which found that some 95 percent of the people there wished to leave the camp and 83 percent wanted to return to their areas of origin. She added that all those consulted however expressed concerns related to the situation at destination, the lack of civil documentation, concerns about access to their property and concerns related to their safety and security, particularly the fear of detention and of military conscription, and requested information and guarantees on all these issues.

The OCHA official expressed concern for the protection of civilians who remain in the last ISIL-held areas of Deir-ez-Zor and for those who were able to flee the fighting. She added, “Extremely harsh conditions are reported along the route north, including cold temperatures and a lack of food, water, shelter and health services. At least 75 people, two-thirds of them children under the age of one, have died since December 2018, either while in transit or shortly after arriving in the Al Hol camp, mostly due to exposure and a lack of access to healthcare.”

Ghelani said across northwestern Syria, an estimated 2.7 million men, women and children remained in need of humanitarian assistance. Some 40 percent of children are out of school, while two million residents rely on water trucking for most, if not all, of their clean water.

Turning to the situation in Idlib, Ghelani said the last few weeks had witnessed an increase in fighting, with dozens of civilians reportedly killed and dozens injured. She reiterated that “the risk of military escalation, and of potentially catastrophic humanitarian consequences, persists; it is therefore critical to sustain and fully implement the Russia-Turkey agreement of 17 September 2018.”

Each month, she said, some 1.7 million Syrians are reached with critical assistance through cross-border operations out of Turkey. She said ensuring sustained humanitarian access is therefore critical and highlighted the important of the Brussel’s Conference, set for 12 to 14 March, in this regard.

Russian ambassador Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya said the situation in northwest Syria is unstable and “cannot be artificially contained for a long time.” He added, “The threat coming from the fighters for the Al Nusra alliance, Hay’at Tahrir Al Sham, which has practically completely taken the territory under their control cannot disappear by itself; appeals to freeze the situation simply encourage the terrorists.” Nebenzya said Russia continued its efforts together with Turkey and Iran “to develop a formula which would make it possible to combat the terrorist threat without harming the civilian population.”

Syrian ambassador Bashar Jaafari said humanitarian support for Syrians cannot be effectively carried out without refraining from politicizing humanitarian affairs and putting an end to terrorism, which he said was the main cause of humanitarian suffering faced by Syrians.

Jaffari said his Government was not asked to attend the first, second, and now third Brussels's Conference on humanitarian aid to his country. He added, “This in and of itself proves that the reasons for convening the Brussels Conferences, in its three versions, are absolutely not humanitarian concerns, rather they are political motives that are exclusively hostile to the Syrian State with the view of extending the life of terrorism and continuing to use the humanitarian aspect as blackmail.”

The Syrian ambassador said the Security Council must uphold international law without using the noble issue of humanitarian assistance as a mean to destabilize countries or interfere in their internal affairs, which he said was being repeated today in Venezuela.
Series
Category
Topical Subjects
Geographic Subjects
Corporate Subjects
Creator
UNIFEED
Alternate Title
unifeed190226a
Asset ID
2361509