UN / SYRIA EASTERN GHOUTA

22-Feb-2018 00:04:22
UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told the Security Council today that Syria's Eastern Ghouta “is a living example of an entirely known, predictable, and preventable humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SYRIA EASTERN GHOUTA
TRT: 04:22
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 22 FEBRUARY 2018, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

22 FEBRUARY 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Andrew Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations:
“Eastern Ghouta is a living example of an entirely known, predictable, and preventable
humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Andrew Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations:
“Humanitarian access is not a ‘nice-to-have'. It is a legal requirement. Counterterrorism efforts cannot supersede the obligation to respect and protect civilians. They do not justify their killing and the destruction of entire cities and neighbourhoods.”
6. Med shot, ambassadors
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Andrew Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations:
“So, in 2017 Mr. President, we reached 175,000 a month; in the last 3 months, we’ve reached 22,000 a month. These are not reports, or alleged, we have complete, factual information on this, because they are our convoys.”
8. Med shot, ambassadors
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Andrew Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations:
“Mr. President, when an entire generation is robbed of its future, when hospital attacks have become the new normal, when sieges of entire cities and neighbourhoods have become a lasting reality for hundreds of thousands of people, the international community must take urgent and concrete action. I have said this before. I will say it again. What we need is a sustained cessation of hostilities, and we need it desperately.”
10. Med shot, ambassadors
11. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“The massive psychosis of global media outlets in coordination disseminating in recent days the same rumours, does not in any way do anything to help improve an understanding of the situation.”
12. Wide shot, US ambassador
13. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“We are very curious and would like to know what guarantees would be provided to ensure compliance with this ceasefire but unfortunately we have yet to receive an intelligible and a clear response. It appears that what is most important is the details can be thought about later. The difficult substance of the Syrian conflict repudiates such logic.”
14. Med shot, Syrian ambassador
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Kelley A. Eckels-Currie, United States Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council:
“These are not terrorists showing up in these makeshift emergency rooms. These are civilians. They are ordinary people under attack by a barbaric Assad regime that is bent on leaving eastern Ghouta levelled to the ground, with no regard for the 400,000 men, women, and children who live there.”
16. Med shot, Syrian ambassador
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Kelley A. Eckels-Currie, United States Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council:
“Yesterday, Russia’s Permanent Representative asked what we should do about eastern Ghouta. The people of eastern Ghouta, UN officials, humanitarian and human rights leaders, and indeed pretty much the entirety of this Council have answered. Stop the bombing of eastern Ghouta. Allow medical assistance in.”
18. Wide shot, US ambassador addressing Security Council
19. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“The United Nations is facing today a professional and moral crisis which cannot be fathomed. The Secretariat, represented by its top officials, does not find difficulty in adopting the stances of some countries which support terrorism in my country through direct involvement in distorting facts, playing with numbers, and using cunning terms and phrases, and relying on unreliable sources in its statements and reports.”
20. Med shot, ambassadors
21. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“In response to those who fear that Eastern Ghouta will become a second Aleppo, I call on them to visit Aleppo today to see how millions of its residents, not thousands, recovered their normal lives after being liberated from terrorism. Yes, Eastern Ghouta will be the next Aleppo; and Idlib will be the next Aleppo; and every area suffering from the terrorism of armed groups in Syria the next Aleppo; because we will no longer submit to the extortion of those who supported terrorism in Syria.”
22. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told the Security Council today that Syria’s Eastern Ghouta “is a living example of an entirely known, predictable, and preventable humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes.”

Speaking via teleconference from Geneva, Lowcock stressed that humanitarian access was “not a nice-to-have; it is a legal requirement.” He said counterterrorism efforts could not “supersede the obligation to respect and protect civilians” and do not justify “their killing and the destruction of entire cities and neighbourhoods.”

Lowcock said over the past 24 hours, heavy shelling and aerial bombardment on East Ghouta reportedly continued, resulting in the death of at least 50 people and wounding at least 200. He said that at least 346 people have been killed and more than 900 wounded since the beginning of this month while humanitarian workers have faced greater difficulties in gaining access to people in need than in any other time since 2015.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Andrew Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations:
“So, in 2017 Mr. President, we reached 175,000 a month; in the last 3 months, we’ve reached 22,000 a month. These are not reports, or alleged, we have complete, factual information on this, because they are our convoys.”

The humanitarian chief said, “When an entire generation is robbed of its future, when hospital attacks have become the new normal, when sieges of entire cities and neighbourhoods have become a lasting reality for hundreds of thousands of people, the international community must take urgent and concrete action.” He said was humanitarian workers need is “a sustained cessation of hostilities, and we need it desperately.”

Russian ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia said “the massive psychosis of global media outlets in coordination disseminating in recent days the same rumours, does not in any way do anything to help improve an understanding of the situation” in Eastern Ghouta. He said the White Helmets are the main roots of this well-financed misinformation campaign adding that there was an impression that eastern Ghouta was comprised of only hospital and that the Syrian Government was at war with these hospitals. He stressed that terrorists were using medical and education facilities as bases but this was an inconvenient truth that is not being disseminated.

Nebenzia said a 30-day ceasefire, as proposed in the draft resolution being circulated by Kuwait and Sweden, carried a great significance in principle and not just for the delivery of humanitarian assistance but the challenge remains on how to achieve this.

SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“We are very curious and would like to know what guarantees would be provided to ensure compliance with this ceasefire but unfortunately we have yet to receive an intelligible and a clear response. It appears that what is most important is the details can be thought about later. The difficult substance of the Syrian conflict repudiates such logic.”

The Russian ambassador said his government circulated amendments to the proposed resolution and called on Council Members to engage in a spirit of cooperation.

US ambassador Kelley Currie said the civilians being brought to makeshift emergency roomswere not terrorists, rather “they are ordinary people under attack by a barbaric Assad regime that is bent on leaving eastern Ghouta levelled to the ground, with no regard for the 400,000 men, women, and children who live there.”

Currie said Russia was blocking any meaningful effort to resolve the situation in Eastern Ghouta adding that discussions over the draft resolution had been ongoing for the past three weeks. She said the people of eastern Ghouta, UN officials, humanitarian and human rights leaders, and “pretty much the entirety of this Council”know what should be done about the situation in the Damascus suburb; “Stop the bombing of eastern Ghouta; Allow medical assistance in.” She said the United States was ready to vote on the draft resolution immediately.

Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said as the meeting was ongoing, hundreds of mortar shells were raining on the Syrian capital Damascus killing some seven people, including two children. He said some Council Members - namely the United States, France, and the United Kingdom – wanted to deny Syria of its right to defend its land and people and combat terrorism.

Ja’afari said the United Nations was facing “a professional and moral crisis which cannot be fathomed.” He said top UN officials, do not “find difficulty in adopting the stances of some countries which support terrorism in my country through direct involvement in distorting facts, playing with numbers, and using cunning terms and phrases, and relying on unreliable sources in [their] statements and reports.”

The Syrian ambassador said, “In response to those who fear that Eastern Ghouta will become a second Aleppo, I call on them to visit Aleppo today to see how millions of its residents, not thousands, recovered their normal lives after being liberated from terrorism.” He added, “Yes, Eastern Ghouta will be the next Aleppo; and Idlib will be the next Aleppo; and every area suffering from the terrorism of armed groups in Syria the next Aleppo; because we will no longer submit to the extortion of those who supported terrorism in Syria.”

Ja’afari said the Syrian Government and its allies were engaged in a war on terror on behalf of the entire world adding that those who had supported terrorism would soon be held responsible by their people for investing in the terror that had reached their cities and citizens.
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