UN / SYRIA PEDERSEN

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29-Apr-2020 00:03:59
UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen told the Security Council, “I strongly believe that Syria needs a ceasefire arrangement that results in sustained calm and is nationwide in scope – one that does not see new assaults across lines of contact, and enables Syrians to access equipment and resources necessary to combat COVID-19.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / SYRIA PEDERSEN
TRT: 3:59
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 29 APRIL 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

29 APRIL 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, Ambassadors on screen
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“I strongly believe that Syria needs a ceasefire arrangement that results in sustained calm and is nationwide in scope – one that does not see new assaults across lines of contact, and enables Syrians to access equipment and resources necessary to combat COVID-19. We cannot afford hostilities which would surely lead to another surge in displaced vulnerable communities – something that we witnessed in horror only two months ago. We could not afford this scenario before the pandemic; the price could only be higher now.”
4.Wide shot, ambassadors on screen
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“We all hope that these low numbers will continue – but as in all countries, the risk of a major COVID-19 outbreak in Syria is there. The trend lines in the coming weeks will be very important. So will a ramping up of testing and treatment capacity in all parts of Syria, along with information sharing between all parties.”
6. Wide shot, ambassadors on screen
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“Turning to the economic situation, after nine years of conflict and a wide range of factors and measures, Syria faces extremely grave economic conditions. We have recently seen price increases and shortages among other further worsening trends. The measures rightly taken by the authorities to combat COVID-19 in Syria have – as in all countries – also had an economic impact too.”
8.Wide shot, ambassadors on screen
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“We reiterated that we will not shy away from withholding the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of our own country Syria. No matter how intense the pressure is and how intensify the plots are. Furthermore, we will not abandon the liberation of our occupied territories, whether it is occupied by the United States, Turkey, Israel or their affiliated terrorist organizations.”
10. Wide shot, ambassador on screen
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“The presence of Turkish Air Defense systems in the Syrian Province of Idlib proves the real aim of Turkey, sustaining its occupation of the Syria territories, especially that the sole aim of deploying these air defense systems on the occupied Syrian territories is undoubtedly destroying air targets such as planes and helicopters. This clearly means that these missiles will not be used against the radical terrorist groups, that are in fact lies of the Turkish regime.”
12. Wide shot Ambassadors on screen
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“This reaffirms the necessity that this Council should commit States to stop supporting terrorism, as well as the absolute priority of supporting the efforts of the Syrian State in fighting terrorism and eradicating this tumor from the Syrian body, in order to complete the restoration of security and stability, and achieving the most hoped Syrian owned and led solution without any foreign interference.”
14. Wide shot, Ambassador

STORYLINE:

UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen told the Security Council, “I strongly believe that Syria needs a ceasefire arrangement that results in sustained calm and is nationwide in scope – one that does not see new assaults across lines of contact, and enables Syrians to access equipment and resources necessary to combat COVID-19.”

Briefing the Council today (29 Apr) via video link, Pedersen welcomed the fact that there has been significant calm in many areas of Syria – especially relative to the apexes of violence of previous years.

He noted that there have not been all-out offensives nor further displacements since early March, adding that the Russian-Turkish arrangements have taken hold in the north-west, and he saw a positive difference on the ground, including compared with previous arrangements. The level of incidents is low.

The Special Envoy also commended the Syrian Government for its effort in taking increasingly significant steps to combat COVID-19. While testing remains limited, the officially reported COVID-19 caseload in Syria is comparatively low: 42 reported cases in areas controlled by the Syrian Government; 1 reported case in the north-east; and no reported cases in the north-west.

Pedersen said, “we all hope that these low numbers will continue – but as in all countries, the risk of a major COVID-19 outbreak in Syria is there. The trend lines in the coming weeks will be very important. So will a ramping up of testing and treatment capacity in all parts of Syria, along with information sharing between all parties.”

Turning to the economic situation, the Special Envoy noted, “after nine years of conflict and a wide range of factors and measures, Syria faces extremely grave economic conditions.”

He continued, “we have recently seen price increases and shortages among other further worsening trends. The measures rightly taken by the authorities to combat COVID-19 in Syria have – as in all countries – also had an economic impact too.”

Pedersen also stated that the country also faces many challenges that can hamstring a response to the pandemic, such as lack of sufficient health professionals, medical equipment and supplies. The healthcare system is degraded in some areas and destroyed in others, following nine years of armed conflict.

Also briefing the Council, Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari reiterated that Syria will “not shy away from withholding the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of our own country, no matter “how intense the pressure is and how intensify the plots are.”

Furthermore, Ja’afari stated that Syria “will not abandon the liberation of our occupied territories, whether it is occupied by the United States, Turkey, Israel or their affiliated terrorist organizations.”

The Syrian Ambassador also said, “the presence of Turkish Air Defense systems in the Syrian Province of Idlib proves the real aim of Turkey, sustaining its occupation of the Syria territories, especially that the sole aim of deploying these air defense systems on the occupied Syrian territories is undoubtedly destroying air targets such as planes and helicopters.”

He continued, “this clearly means that these missiles will not be used against the radical terrorist groups, that are in fact lies of the Turkish regime.”

Noting that terrorist groups are taking advantage of the calm period, following the Moscow Agreement and international concerns of combating the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to reorganize their forces, Ja’afari said, “this reaffirms the necessity that this Council should commit States to stop supporting terrorism, as well as the absolute priority of supporting the efforts of the Syrian State in fighting terrorism and eradicating this tumor from the Syrian body, in order to complete the restoration of security and stability, and achieving the most hoped Syrian owned and led solution without any foreign interference.”
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