UN / SYRIA

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18-Sep-2020 00:01:57
“Only by focusing on a political settlement can we meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” the UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen told the Security Council on Friday. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / SYRIA
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SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 18 SEPTEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE

1. Exterior shot, UN Headquarters

18 SEPTEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. Split screen, Security Council in virtual meeting
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, UN Special Envoy for Syria:
“The realities on the ground remind us that only by focusing on a political settlement can we meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and restore Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity. A political process is also plainly vital if Syria’s socio-economic challenges are to be addressed, and if conditions are to emerge in which millions of refugees would be able to return in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner.”
4. Split screen, Security Council in virtual meeting
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, UN Special Envoy for Syria:
"We must continue to work to bring about positive and mutually reinforcing steps among Syrian and international players and a wider political process in line with resolution 2254. With relative calm on the ground, and with the urgent need to alleviate the Syrian people’s suffering, now is the time to press ahead.”
6. Split screen, Security Council in virtual meeting
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, UN Special Envoy for Syria:
“The pandemic will only add to humanitarian needs, which remain acute. Many Syrians face food insecurity, poverty and deprivation, particularly in the face of unprecedented economic collapse and socio-economic strain. To give one indicator: food prices remain at the highest level ever recorded – monitoring by the World Food Programme shows the price of a standard reference food basket increased by over 250 per cent on last year. Some Syrians even struggled to access water.”
8. Split screen, Security Council in virtual meeting

STORYLINE:

“Only by focusing on a political settlement can we meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” the UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen told the Security Council on Friday (18 Sep).

“The realities on the ground remind us that only by focusing on a political settlement can we meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and restore Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity,” Geir Pedersen said. “A political process is also plainly vital if Syria’s socio-economic challenges are to be addressed, and if conditions are to emerge in which millions of refugees would be able to return in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner.”

The Special Envoy was briefing the Council for the first time since the Syrian Constitution Committee met in Geneva at the end of August, where the parties agreed on agenda and held – according to Pedersen – mostly substantive discussions.

The next meeting of the Committee in Geneva is scheduled for early October.

Meanwhile, the Special Envoy said, “we must continue to work to bring about positive and mutually reinforcing steps among Syrian and international players and a wider political process in line with resolution 2254.”

Adopted by the Security Council in December 2015, the resolution 2254 defined a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition in order to end the conflict in Syria and stressed that the Syrian people will decide the future of Syria.

“With relative calm on the ground, and with the urgent need to alleviate the Syrian people’s suffering, now is the time to press ahead,” Pedersen said.

The worsening COVID-19 pandemic in Syria, where the ten-year-long conflict has rendered the population acutely vulnerable, is emerging as a major challenge, according to Special Envoy.

“The pandemic will only add to humanitarian needs, which remain acute,” said Pedersen. “Many Syrians face food insecurity, poverty and deprivation, particularly in the face of unprecedented economic collapse and socio-economic strain.”

According to the World Food Programme, the food prices remain at the highest level ever recorded, where the price of a standard reference food basket increased by over 250 per cent on last year.

“Some Syrians even struggled to access water,” said Pedersen.
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