Turkey Proposes Syria "Safe Zones/Corridors"
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Debating before the UN Security Council, Turkey's Foreign Minister for first time before the UN Security Council proposed "safe zones & safe corridors" to secure the safety of Syria civilians and also stem tide of refugees to neighboring countries including Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq as well as Turkey.
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UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told a meeting of the Security Council today (30 August) that both the Government and the opposition have chosen the path of armed confrontation, with no immediate prospect of an end to the fighting and resolution of the conflict.
He highlighted a deepening humanitarian crisis in Syria where over 2.5 million people now need urgent assistance and protection, and urged enhanced international support to respond to the growing crisis.
Eliasson said "Syrians need less weapons, not more" and urged "those who supply the Government or the armed opposition with weapons, equipment or money are creating a vicious circle of violence and are paving the way for more suffering and chaos."
Eliasson highlighted the need for the Syrian Government to authorize more international non-governmental organizations to operate in the country, and for UN agencies to expand their presence. At the same time, security has to be improved, he added.
He noted recent calls to establish humanitarian corridors or buffer zones inside Syria where civilians could find relief from the violence and said "such proposals raise serious questions and require careful and critical consideration."
The Deputy Secretary-General told the Council that access to health facilities has become difficult or impossible in some areas due to violence, checkpoints and fuel shortages, while food prices have tripled in some areas. He said the most pressing needs include water and sanitation, food and shelter, blankets and health care.
He also reported that, as of yesterday, the $180 million Humanitarian Response Plan is only half-funded, with some critical sectors having received almost no funding at all.
Also addressing the ministerial-level meeting of the Council was UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, who said that the escalation of armed conflict in Syria has led to a dramatic and deepening humanitarian crisis.
Guterres said "the refugee exodus is having a significant impact on the society, the economy and the security of host countries" and added, "The large scale arrival of refugees brings a significant economic cost, leads to complex social consequences, and has a serious impact on local infrastructure and the environment."
As of yesterday, 229,000 people had left the country and sought refuge in neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, he said.
Ahmet Davutoğlu, Foreign Minister of Turkey, renewed Turkey's call for the UN to "initiate the establishment of an IDP camp within Syria without delay. He added that "these camps should have full protection."
He also said that the Syrian regime is the only "side which is responsible for this tragedy", and "none of the refugees is fleeing Syria because of the opposition groups which are struggling to stop these killings in Syria."
Today's meeting was chaired by Laurent Fabius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France and President of the Security Council for August.
Fabius chastised the Council for failing to reach consensus on Syria. He said that people worldwide "cannot comprehend how Mr. Bashar Al-Assad can murder his own people, or how the Council, which is called the United Nations Security Council, is neither united nor does it provide security."
The council did not agree on any resolution in the Thursday meeting.
Efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria will continue under the leadership of the Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, who begins his new role on 1 September.
Brahimi takes over the peace-facilitation role which has been carried out since February by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who sought to bring an end to all violence and human rights violations in Syria and promote a peaceful solution to the conflict.
More than 18,000 people, mostly civilians, have died since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began nearly 18 months ago. There have been reports of an escalation in violence in recent weeks in many towns and villages, as well as the country's two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo.
Year of Production: 2012
Country: United Nations
Turkey Proposes Syria "Safe Zones/Corridors" by DiplomaticallyIncorrect is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License.
- Muhamed Sacirbey (UNTV)
- Susan Sacirbey (UNTV)