UN / SYRIA

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20-Dec-2021 00:03:30
UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said now was the time to “explore whether a political process can meaningfully move forward in 2022,” and stressed that “no one should expect miracles or quick solutions – the path forward will be necessarily incremental.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / SYRIA
TRT: 3:30
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 20 DECEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

20 DECEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“Syria remains fragmented into several areas that seem to be drifting apart, as de facto authorities entrench their control on the ground, and as five foreign armies continue to jostle in the theatre. And Syria continues to radiate instability -- a haven for mercenaries, drug trafficking and terrorism.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“Mr President, in time, I would hope that we can begin to identify and agree on incremental, reciprocal, mutual, realistic, precise, and verifiable steps that could be taken in parallel to build trust and confidence and help to move the political process forward in line with Security Council resolution 2254. Let me recall here that while the political solution in Syria must be Syrian-owned and Syrian-led, many issues are not solely in the hands of the Syrians.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“Now is the time to explore whether a political process can meaningfully move forward in 2022. The status quo has many dangers, and it would be folly only to manage an unacceptable and deteriorating stalemate. Equally, the realities facing all parties should promote an interest in compromise, and open opportunities for concrete steps forward on the political track. No one should expect miracles or quick solutions – the path forward will be necessarily incremental.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“As the Secretary-General has said, crossline deliveries cannot at this point replace the massive scale of the cross-border operation, but they are important. Both of those operations are essential to support the 3.4 million people in need in the north-west.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“As the year ends, the situation for people in Syria remains grim. Humanitarian needs have grown, while funding has shrunk. And I have said before, and I have said again on many occasions: we continue to fail the Syrian people in what they need, what they deserve, and what they are entitled to in terms of humanitarian assistance and protection.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“Mr President, the economy continues its downward trajectory. Food costs more now than at any time since the World Food Programme started monitoring such costs in 2013. Many families – this is an extraordinary assessment – spend on average 50 per cent more on basic items than they earn each month, and of course, they are forced to rely on credit and loans and help. It should be obvious that this is simply not sustainable.”
14. Wide shot, Security Council

STORYLINE:

UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said now was the time to “explore whether a political process can meaningfully move forward in 2022,” and stressed that “no one should expect miracles or quick solutions – the path forward will be necessarily incremental.”

Addressing the Security Council today (20 Dec) via teleconference, Pedersen said, violence against civilians continues in Syria, despite there being no shifts in the front lines, adding that the levels of hunger and poverty have escalated as the economy has continued to implode.

He said, “Syria remains fragmented into several areas that seem to be drifting apart, as de facto authorities entrench their control on the ground, and as five foreign armies continue to jostle in the theatre. And Syria continues to radiate instability -- a haven for mercenaries, drug trafficking and terrorism.”

The Special Envoy said, six years since its adoption, Security Council resolution 2254 – which calls for a political settlement in Syria - remains a long way from implemented in a manner that could ease the suffering of the Syrian people, meet their legitimate aspirations, and restore the country’s unity and sovereignty.

Pedersen said he believed there are possibilities for progress that need to be explored in 2022. HE said in his engagements, he has been sensing a wide sense than before that political and economic steps are needed. He said, despite the great mistrust on all sides, there is enough interest from all sides to test what could be possible via a wider political process.
Pedersen said, “In time, I would hope that we can begin to identify and agree on incremental, reciprocal, mutual, realistic, precise, and verifiable steps that could be taken in parallel to build trust and confidence and help to move the political process forward in line with Security Council resolution 2254. Let me recall here that while the political solution in Syria must be Syrian-owned and Syrian-led, many issues are not solely in the hands of the Syrians.”

The Special Envoy said he is ready to convene a seventh session of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva as soon as understandings are in place.

Pedersen said the current status quo has “many dangers, and it would be folly only to manage an unacceptable and deteriorating stalemate.” “Equally,” he said, “the realities facing all parties should promote an interest in compromise, and open opportunities for concrete steps forward on the political track. No one should expect miracles or quick solutions – the path forward will be necessarily incremental.”

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths discussed the Secretary-General’s report that describes the robust system in place regarding the distribution of cross-line humanitarian aid. He said that in northwestern Syria, the UN humanitarian system has boosted its efforts to provide crossline aid.

However, Griffiths stressed that, at this point, crossline deliveries cannot replace the “massive scale of the cross-border operation.” He said, “Both of those operations are essential to support the 3.4 million people in need in the north-west.”

Griffiths said, as the year ends, “the situation for people in Syria remains grim.” He noted that humanitarian needs have grown, while funding has shrunk. He said, “We continue to fail the Syrian people in what they need, what they deserve, and what they are entitled to in terms of humanitarian assistance and protection.”

The Emergency Relief Coordinator said the Syrian economy “continues its downward trajectory,” with food costing more now “than at any time since the World Food Programme started monitoring such costs in 2013.” He said, “Many families – this is an extraordinary assessment – spend on average 50 per cent more on basic items than they earn each month, and of course, they are forced to rely on credit and loans and help. It should be obvious that this is simply not sustainable.”

Griffiths also stressed the need for a step-by-step approach to meet the needs of the Syrian people and give them a future. This includes protection of civilians, increasing humanitarian support, early recovery aid, a safe and voluntary return of refugees, and finally, access to all in need. He said it was quite clear that only an end to the conflict really meets the needs of the people of Syria.
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