UN / SYRIA OBRIEN

30-Mar-2017 00:03:07
UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien told the Security Council today there was “not a man, woman or child from any walk of life who hasn't been impacted by the particular wretchedness” of the Syrian conflict which has now entered its seventh year. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SYRIA O’BRIEN
TRT: 03:07
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 30 MARCH 2017, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
RECENT - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

30 MARCH 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“In Syria, there is not a man, woman or child from any walk of life who hasn't been impacted by the particular wretchedness of this particularly gruesome and protracted conflict. Syrians have watched huge parts of their historic and proud country reduced to rubble. The building blocks of civilian life have been gradually destroyed including bakeries, water stations, hospitals, schools, and places of worship.”
4. Med shot, delegates
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“The parties gathering in Geneva this week - and those around this table today - surely understand the huge responsibility on their shoulders to bring this Syrian nightmare to an end after years of political intransigence. I cannot emphasize enough how high the stakes are. The Syrian people need to see a tangible improvement in their daily lives because, quite frankly, it is they who have borne the brunt of this conflict.”
6. Med shot, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“Put starkly, this tightening of the siege has started a time bomb for the people of eastern Ghouta. It is critical that the UN and partners be facilitated access to the enclave before the conditions deteriorate further.”
8. Med shot, delegates
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“All sieges are stark, contemptuous violations of this Council's resolutions. All sieges must be lifted immediately full stop. However, as I have made clear before, this should not be through any type of ‘surrender’ agreement which results in the decimation of an area and the forced displacement of some parts of the civilian population. Any evacuation of civilians must be safe, it must be voluntary, and must be to a place of their choosing.”
10. Med shot, delegates
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“While the number of convoys this month represents some progress compared to previous months, it is essential that the government agree to take further steps to simplify the bureaucratic processes around the preparation and deployment of inter-agency convoys. The current bureaucratic architecture is at best excessive and at its worst, deliberately intended to prevent convoys from proceeding.”
12. Wide shot, O’Brien addressing Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“(Allow me) to appeal to the parties, and all those with influence over them, to strive to overcome their differences, and work together to put an end to the conflict. This is the only way to stop the suffering of Syrian men, women and children. I sincerely hope this is the year the parties to the conflict - and those that support their actions - regain the sense of humanity.”
14. Zoom out, Security Council
STORYLINE
UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien told the Security Council today (30 Mar) there was “not a man, woman or child from any walk of life who hasn't been impacted by the particular wretchedness” of the Syrian conflict which has now entered its seventh year.

O’Brien said the “particularly gruesome and protracted conflict” had gradually destroyed “the building blocks of civilian life” including bakeries, water stations, hospitals, schools, and places of worship. He hoped the current political process in Geneva would succeed noting that the Syrian people needed to see a “tangible improvement in their daily lives because, quite frankly, it is they who have borne the brunt of this conflict.”

The humanitarian chief said, despite finding little coverage on TV stations, the last few months have been some of the worst yet for civilians inside Syria as attacks on medical facilities and schools continued to be reported. He expressed his concern for some 400,000 civilians in Raqqa governorate as military operations were ongoing. He said concerns over the fate of civilians would only grow as fighting moved to more civilian -populated areas closer to Raqqa city and urged all parties to do everything in their power to protect civilians as required under international humanitarian law.

O’Brien stressed that explosions and shelling on populated areas targeting the capital Damascus this month were an appalling reminder of the willingness of extremist, terrorist groups to wantonly target civilians. He also expressed concern over the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the besieged parts of eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus as 30 percent of all patients with war-related injuries were children under the age of fifteen. According to WHO, all three public hospitals and 17 public health care centres in eastern Ghouta were not functioning and inaccessible to the population, with several of them reportedly destroyed by airstrikes. O’Brien said the tightening of the siege “has started a time bomb for the people of eastern Ghouta” calling for humanitarian access to the area before the conditions further deteriorate.

O’Brien said the current levels of humanitarian access were no better than the same period last year. He stressed than while the number of convoys this month represented some progress compared to previous months, “it was essential that the government agree to take further steps to simplify the bureaucratic processes around the preparation and deployment of inter-agency convoys.” He said, “The current bureaucratic architecture is at best excessive and at its worst, deliberately intended to prevent convoys from proceeding.”

The humanitarian chief appealed to the parties of the conflict “all those with influence over them” to overcome their differences and put an end to the conflict. He hoped this was the year “the parties to the conflict - and those that support their actions - regain the sense of humanity.”
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