UN / SYRIA

17-Apr-2018 00:04:07
Russian ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said the idea of creating a mechanism to attribute responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in Syria “no longer makes any sense when Washington and its allies have already determined who is guilty and in essence are already acting as self-appointed executioners.” UNIFEED
Size
Format
Acquire
N/A
Hi-Res formats
DESCRIPTION
STORY: UN / SYRIA
TRT: 04:07
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 17 APRIL 2018, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

17 APRIL 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Close up, Lowcock speaking to Syrian delegation
4. Med shot, Syrian ambassador
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Andrew Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations:
“Let me start with Raqqa city and Rukhban. The population of those two places total only about one
percent of the number of Syrians in need of humanitarian help, but their needs are no less important
than those of the 99 percent of their compatriots needing assistance in other parts of the country.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Andrew Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations:
“Mr. President, the town of Duma and other areas in eastern Ghouta are now under the control of the Government of Syria. After years of deprivation, under siege, those who remain in this area continue to require urgent assistance that we, as the humanitarian community, have yet to be able to provide. Access to reach the people throughout eastern Ghotua is critical.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Vassily Alekseevich Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“By their acts of aggression, the troika and those who supported or welcomed their actions have in fact expressed solidarity with one of the sides of this conflict. The aggressor does not have the moral right to prepare legal international acts regarding the victim of their aggression.”
10. Med shot, US ambassador
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Vassily Alekseevich Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“The idea of creating a mechanism on attributing responsibility for the use of chemical weapons no longer makes any sense when Washington and its allies have already determined who is guilty and in essence are already acting as self-appointed executioners.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Kelley A. Eckels-Currie, United States Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council:
“Russia has called us here as part of a messaging campaign to try to distract from the atrocities committed by the Assad regime. In order to do that, Russia has asked this Council to focus its attention on the one part of Syria where the Assad regime isn’t pummelling civilians to death with barrel bombs or banned chemical weapons.”
14. Wide shot, Security Council
15. SOUNDBITE (French) Francois Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations:
“With this integrated and comprehensive approach, this draft is seeking to recreate a space for negotiations and look at possible areas of convergence, and to, we hope, create the conditions of a real diplomatic dynamic on the Syrian case. We all know how difficult the task is, but we hope that this method could help us to move beyond the impasse and open the way to true negotiations.”
16. Wide shot, Security Council
17. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“Today, the United Nations security team entered Douma at 3:00 PM Damascus time, meaning 8:00 AM New York time, to assess the security situation on the ground, and if this United Nations security team decides that the situation is sound in Douma, the fact-finding mission will start its work tomorrow. This means that the decision for the mission to enter (Douma) is solely that of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).”
18. Med shot, British ambassador
19. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“What happened in the city of Raqqa is but one example of crimes committed by the so-called coalition led by the United States against ISIL. This coalition did not for one day aim to combat terrorism, rather it aimed to undermine the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of my country, and to attempt to weaken the Syrian Arab Army and its allies in their fight against terrorist groups. Its real achievement was to kill thousands of innocent civilians using the worst kinds of weapons, including incendiary weapons.”
20. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
Russian ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said the idea of creating a mechanism to attribute responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in Syria “no longer makes any sense when Washington and its allies have already determined who is guilty and in essence are already acting as self-appointed executioners.”

Speaking at a Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Syria today (17 Apr), Nebenzia said he was surprised by the draft resolution presented by France - with the support of the United States and the United Kingdom - just one day after they launched an attack on Syria. He said by their “acts of aggression, the troika and those who supported or welcomed their actions have in fact expressed solidarity with one of the sides of this conflict.” He stressed, “The aggressor does not have the moral right to prepare legal international acts regarding the victim of their aggression.” Nebenzia said all the elements of the draft already exist in previous Security Council resolution and simply needed to be implemented.

The Russian ambassador said the action taken by the three countries had set back political progress especially related to Geneva. He said the missile strikes have created an atmosphere where opposition groups were now calling for President Assad to leave as a precondition to talks. He said he could not imagine that the Syrian government was enthusiastic to discuss a political solution at the request of the western allies given what has happened.

Nebenzia said if the goal was to force the Syrian President under a hail of bombs to negotiations and as a result to try him as a war criminal, then this goal was simply unrealistic. He added, “The idea of creating a mechanism on attributing responsibility for the use of chemical weapons no longer makes any sense when Washington and its allies have already determined who is guilty and in essence are already acting as self-appointed executioners.”

The Council heard a briefing by UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock on both the situation in Raqqa city and Rukban, as well as the overall humanitarian situation in the country. Lowcock said the population of Raqqa city and Rukban total “only about one percent of the number of Syrians in need of humanitarian help, but their needs are no less important than those of the 99 percent of their compatriots needing assistance in other parts of the country.”

Lowcock said an assessment mission to Raqqa on the first of April showed that conditions were not conducive for returns due to the high levels of mine and unexploded ordnance contamination, with some 50 casualties a day due to remnants of war. He said up to 95 percent of households who have returned to Raqqa are food insecure and the city lacked electricity and mobile communications, and water.

The humanitarian chief said the town of Duma and other areas in eastern Ghouta were now under the control of the Syrian Government. He said, “After years of deprivation, under siege, those who remain in this area continue to require urgent assistance that we, as the humanitarian community, have yet to be able to provide; access to reach the people throughout eastern Ghotua is critical.”

US ambassador Kelley Currie said Russia’s call for the humanitarian update in Raqqa and Rukban was “part of a messaging campaign to try to distract from the atrocities committed by the Assad regime.” She said Russia has asked the Council to focus its attention “on the one part of Syria where the Assad regime isn’t pummelling civilians to death with barrel bombs or banned chemical weapons.” Currie said the Council needed to focus on its demand for a ceasefire and unhindered humanitarian access on the ground. She stressed that the United States would not stop focusing on the ways to achieve this no matter how many times Russia convenes these diversions.

French ambassador Francois Delattre said the French draft is fully geared at meeting humanitarian objectives and wishes to recreate a mechanism to attribute responsibility for the use of chemical weapons and end the Syrian chemical programme. He added that the draft requests political negotiations that would be conclusive under the auspices of the United Nations and with the support of UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura.

SOUNDBITE (French) Francois Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations:
“With this integrated and comprehensive approach, this draft is seeking to recreate a space for negotiations and look at possible areas of convergence, and to, we hope, create the conditions of a real diplomatic dynamic on the Syrian case. We all know how difficult the task is, but we hope that this method could help us to move beyond the impasse and open the way to true negotiations.”

Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said there were rumours and lies being spread regarding the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) to Douma and provided an update on the mission’s work. He said the FFM had started its work in Damascus and listened yesterday to testimonies by witnesses to the alleged incident. He noted that a UN security team entered Douma today at 3:00 PM Damascus time to assess the security situation on the ground, and if the team “decides that the situation is sound in Douma, the fact-finding mission will start its work tomorrow.” He stressed, “This means that the decision for the mission to enter (Douma) is solely that of the United Nations and OPCW.”

Ja’afari said what happened in the city of Raqqa is but one example of the “crimes committed by the so-called coalition led by the United States against ISIL.” He stressed that the coalition did not aim to combat terrorism, “rather it aimed to undermine the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of [Syria], and to attempt to weaken the Syrian Arab Army and its allies in their fight against terrorist groups.” He added, “Its real achievement was to kill thousands of innocent civilians using the worst kinds of weapons, including incendiary weapons.”

The Syrian ambassador said the US, UK, and France have crowned their support to armed terrorist groups with their tripartite aggression on April 14, which he said was an act of revenge against the Syrian army for defeating the terrorist arms of those countries in Eastern Ghouta.
Category
Geographic Subjects
Corporate Subjects
Source
Alternate Title
unifeed180417e