UN / SYRIA CONFLICT

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06-Feb-2020 00:03:21
UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said, “We are witnessing the humanitarian catastrophe that the Secretary-General has warned of,” adding that the fighting in the north-west of the country was causing “totally unacceptable human suffering -- and endangering international peace and security. And yet it can -- and therefore must -- stop now.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / SYRIA CONFLICT
TRT: 3:21
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 06 FEBRYARY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

06 FEBRYARY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Wide shot, Syrian ambassador joining meeting
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“We are witnessing the humanitarian catastrophe that the Secretary-General has warned of, and which the Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock will brief you about. This is causing totally unacceptable human suffering -- and endangering international peace and security. And yet it can -- and therefore must -- stop now.”
5. Wide shot, Security Council
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“We appear to have lost sight of the principle of proportionality. Let me be very clear and remind all parties that attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including on healthcare and educational facilities, are unacceptable. All military operations -- including those against and by terrorist groups designated by the Security Council – must respect the requirements of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and civilian objects.”
7. Wide shot, Syrian and Russian ambassadors
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“I appeal for an end to the hostilities. And I appeal to all for a serious international effort to cooperate on Idlib. It is a humanitarian imperative. It is the way to have effective counterterrorism. It is in the interests of regional and international peace and security. Andi t is an essential foundation for a sustainable path out of the Syrian conflict which is now approaching its tenth year.”
9. Wide shot, Security Council
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“So, what we have been warning you about is happening. How severe the crisis becomes will depend on whether a solution can be found to ease the situation for those still in harm’s way and those crammed into an ever-smaller area in the north west of Idlib. Time is short. The front-line has now moved to within a few kilometres of Idleb city, the largest urban centre in the northwest.”
11. Med shot, Turkish ambassador
12. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“Western governments have been clear in in their effort to destroy my country, create ‘constructive chaos’, pillage our resources, and settle their accounts with us. They also specified the tools they would use for this purpose, and politician’s memoires and the scandals of WikiLeaks are filled with that which reaffirms what we are saying.”
13. Wide shot, Security Council
14. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“Some have raised the need to for us to declare an immediate ceasefire. With whom do you want to sign a ceasefire? Tell us. With the entities which you have agreed to designate as terrorist in this Council? With Al Nusra Front? With Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham? With whom do you want to sign a ceasefire?”
15. Wide shot, Security Council

STORYLINE:

UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said, “We are witnessing the humanitarian catastrophe that the Secretary-General has warned of,” adding that the fighting in the north-west of the country was causing “totally unacceptable human suffering -- and endangering international peace and security. And yet it can -- and therefore must -- stop now.”

Addressing the Security Council via teleconference from Geneva today (06 Feb), Pedersen said heavy strikes from both air and ground are causing massive waves of civilian displacement and major loss of civilian life. He said clashes and mutual shelling continued despite a ceasefire deal reached between Russia and Turkey on 12 January adding that the Syrian Government forces had made significant advances. He added that Syrian and Turkish troops had also directly clashed inside Syria leading to the killing of seven Turkish soldiers and reports of dozens of Syrian forces killed.

Pedersen noted that hundreds had been killed and more than a half million civilians had been displaced in the last two months adding that further mass displacement seems inevitable.

SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“We appear to have lost sight of the principle of proportionality. Let me be very clear and remind all parties that attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including on healthcare and educational facilities, are unacceptable. All military operations -- including those against and by terrorist groups designated by the Security Council – must respect the requirements of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and civilian objects.”

The Special Envoy stressed that a continued all-out military approach would not solve the issue and would come at a completely unacceptable price. He appealed for an end to the hostilities and for “a serious international effort to cooperate on Idlib.” Pedersen said, “It is a humanitarian imperative. It is the way to have effective counterterrorism. It is in the interests of regional and international peace and security. Andi t is an essential foundation for a sustainable path out of the Syrian conflict which is now approaching its tenth year.”

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said the impact of military operations has been severe on civilians, with more than 95 per cent of all civilian deaths occurring in non-Government controlled areas. He said the vast majority of people being displaced by the violence continued to move north and west into the ever-smaller enclave controlled by non-Government groups.

Lowcock said there was a need for an immediate cessation of hostilities adding that a broader ceasefire continued to be the only way to ensure civilians are protected. He remined the Council the he had released 44 million USD in December from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) representing the largest single allocation from the Fund for the Syrian crisis since the war began. The Emergency Relief Coordinator announced the release of a further 30 million USD for the new response plan in Idlib.

Lowcock reiterated that despite the efforts of humanitarian organisations, needs are growing exponentially. He said, “So, what we have been warning you about is happening. How severe the crisis becomes will depend on whether a solution can be found to ease the situation for those still in harm’s way and those crammed into an ever-smaller area in the north west of Idlib. Time is short. The front-line has now moved to within a few kilometres of Idleb city, the largest urban centre in the northwest.”

Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said Turkey was bringing foreign fighters into the Syrian areas on the Turkish border to displace Syrians and create demographic changes. He said Turkey was using the cross-border humanitarian corridors to bring in heavy weaponry and troops into Idlib aimed at hindering the efforts of the Syrian Government and its allies to end the rule of terrorists in that area.

Ja’afari criticized the members of the Council who called for the meeting adding that some countries were trying to impose the NATO agenda on the Security Council which undermines the Council’s credibility and covers the crimes committed by NATO members, including Turkey.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“Western governments have been clear in in their effort to destroy my country, create ‘constructive chaos’, pillage our resources, and settle their accounts with us. They also specified the tools they would use for this purpose, and politician’s memoires and the scandals of WikiLeaks are filled with that which reaffirms what we are saying.”

Responding to calls at the meeting for an immediate ceasefire, the Syrian ambassador asked, “With whom do you want to sign a ceasefire? Tell us. With the entities which you have agreed to designate as terrorist in this Council? With Al Nusra Front? With Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham? With whom do you want to sign a ceasefire?”

Ja’afari said improving living and humanitarian conditions in Syria and achieving a political solution require a reassessment by enemy western countries of their policies towards Syria, to put an end to their hostile acts and their investment in terrorism, ensure respect for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to support efforts by the Syrian Government and its allies to combat terrorism.
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