We must stop a devastating ‘battle to the end’ in southwest Syria, declares UN envoy

UNHCR/Susan Schulman
Relentless fighting has left much of Syria in ruins.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

A “full-scale” ground and aerial offensive in southwest Syria could inflict an even heavier toll on civilians than the suffering caused by previous devastating battles in the war-ravaged country, the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria has warned.

“Let us be aware of what this would mean, if the southwest sees a full-scale battle-to-the-end: it could be like eastern Aleppo and eastern Ghouta combined together,” Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, told the Security Council on Wednesday.

“We … cannot allow … this to become another Ghouta, another Douma, or another Aleppo, where so many civilians were sacrificed and died. And yet I see things moving in this direction,” he said.

Speaking via video link from Geneva, Mr. de Mistura also cautioned that such fighting could increase tensions across the region and risk compromising momentum in political talks to reach a lasting peace deal.

In his briefing, Mr. de Mistura told Council members that intensified efforts were on-going “to find a way ahead” for the implementation of a deal and for the establishment of a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated committee on a new constitution, within the framework of the Geneva process and in accordance with Security Council resolution 2254.

“I will continue on my side to facilitate further movement in this direction to seek the support, counsel and advice of many – which is why I anticipate inviting the Sochi co-convenors back to Geneva in the coming weeks … and then, of course, report to you, to the Security Council,” he said.

Concluding his briefing, the UN Special Envoy urged the Security Council as well as the Syrian Government to support efforts on the political front to put Syrians themselves in charge of their own future, because “no country or no organization can simply impose a fait accompli on the Syrian people.”

He also called on all parties to the conflict and on those who have influence over them to help find a solution that will “spare civilian suffering”, prevent more people from being displaced, and “reduce potential tensions.”

Worsening fighting could jeopardize aid efforts – UN relief official

Also briefing the 15-member Council, John Ging, the Director of Operations at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), detailed the humanitarian consequences of the fighting in the southwestern Governorate of Dara’a, saying that to date, an estimated 45,000 to 50,000 people have been displaced due to hostilities.

The number, he added “could nearly double” if fighting continues to escalate, and most hospitals and medical facilities there have already closed, he told Council Members.

UN cross-border relief operations from Jordan, bringing much needed aid to hundreds of thousands in need across southern Syria, could also be jeopardized if violence worsens, said Mr. Ging.

“I call on all stakeholders to ensure that cross-border humanitarian deliveries continue in a sustained, safe and unimpeded manner to reach all those in need, including the newly displaced people,” said the senior OCHA official.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How much time has the ‘European Union of last chance’ left?

EU prepares for the worst case scenario as Turkey seems to be withdrawing from the migration deal

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims

Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades. Here’s how

Here’s how we need to change global supply chains after COVID-19

High anxiety calls for innovation in digital mental health

5 ways to integrate Syrian refugees into the workforce

How telehealth can get healthcare to more people

The future of international election observation missions

Why cybersecurity matters more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic

DR Congo elections: ‘Excessive use of force’ in campaign must be avoided, says Bachelet

How tech is helping the agriculture sector curb carbon emissions

The EU Commission does nothing about the food retailing oligopoly

Why a coronavirus vaccine takes over a year to produce – and why that is incredibly fast

Humanitarian aid convoy to Syria’s Rukban camp: Mission Accomplished

The Oslo model: how to prepare your city for the electric-vehicle surge

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

Have central banks missed the exit train?

This is how the world can get routine vaccinations back on track

China is now heavily endorsing its big investment flow in the Central Eastern European (CEE) countries

Pollution could be harming every part of your body. Here’s how

You’ve heard of 5G, but what about the quantum internet?

How do we build a #sustainableworld?

The Japanese idea of ‘chowa’ – and how Asia can thrive in the future

Good Governance in developing modern quality infrastructure systems

COVID-19 and nature are linked. So should be the recovery.

How people without running water can wash their hands

Sexual exploitation and abuse: latest UN quarterly update

Mexico: UN chief saddened by pipeline blast in which dozens were killed

France is about to start giving free breakfasts to disadvantaged schoolchildren

JADE Spring Meeting 2017– day 1: Excellence awards, panel discussion, keynote speeches

Why developing new antibiotics is a matter of life and death

Would you want to live to 150? Top quotes on what it means to grow old

Germany is the world’s most innovative economy

Chinese “BeiDou” GPS goes to market

DR Congo: Ebola outbreak spreads to eastern ‘no-go’ zone surrounded by rebels

Electronic cigarettes, a better alternative or a well-advertised product

MFF: Commission’s plan “impossible to implement” with Finnish proposal

New General Assembly President brings ‘valuable insights’ into key UN challenges

5 technologies that will forever change global trade

3 leadership lessons from the age of coronavirus

The Changing Scope of International Economic Relations – Chinese Leadership in the 21st Century

ILO discusses world of work response to global refugee crisis

Main results of European Council of 18/10/2018

More Germans are swapping planes for trains because of climate worries

Japan must urgently address long-standing concerns over foreign bribery enforcement

What does strategy have to do with a platform approach?

Czech PM should resolve his conflict of interest as a matter of urgency say MEPs

Eurozone: Retail sales betray economic frailty

IMF: Sorry Greece, Ireland, Portugal we were wrong!

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

A Young entrepreneur cries out: “start in Europe, stay in Europe”

Is Universal Health Coverage really available for all in the European Union?

Reality Shock

The JADE Spring Meeting is about to begin

From his room with a view, UN chief takes to Instagram with an eye on hope and a brighter future

G20 LIVE: Fact Sheet from the G20 Leaders Summit and key outcomes (G20 Antalya 2015 Summary)

An all-out fight for the EU budget

Myanmar: Conflict resolution at ‘total standstill’, military commanders must answer for crimes against humanity

LUX prize will be awarded jointly by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s