UN General Assembly must back cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism into north-west Syria: Amnesty
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – UN member states should unequivocally condemn Russia’s abuse of its veto power and the body should affirm the legality, impartiality, neutrality, and independence of the cross-border aid mechanism for north-west Syria, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.
Russia vetoed the renewal of the mechanism, which expired on July 10, after neither of the two competing resolutions were adopted.
“Since 2019, Russia has abused its veto power to whittle down the cross-border mechanism resolution’s scope from four border crossings to only one – and now none. This latest Russian veto means that the UN can no longer deliver aid and essential services to four million people living in north-west Syria,” said Sherine Tadros, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Advocacy and Representative to the UN.
“UN member states should publicly call out Russia’s use of its veto power by spelling out the real-life consequences of such political games. Russia and China know very well the catastrophic humanitarian situation in north-west Syria, where millions rely on UN aid and services.”
The Syrian government said that it will let humanitarian aid flow through its main border crossing into rebel-held areas, but on the condition that the UN and implementing partners fully cooperate with the government and do not “communicate with terrorist organizations and groups.”
“Such an arrangement would also undermine the impartiality of aid delivery due to the government’s well-documented track record of diverting aid away from populations in opposition-controlled areas. There are absolutely no guarantees that the Syrian government will not impede access,” said Sherine Tadros, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Advocacy and Representative to the UN.