News / Middle East

UN Security Council Authorizes Aid Across Syria’s Borders

Syrian refugee children collect plastics as they stand along a street in south of Sidon, southern Lebanon, June 10, 2014.
Syrian refugee children collect plastics as they stand along a street in south of Sidon, southern Lebanon, June 10, 2014.
Margaret Besheer

The U.N. Security Council has set aside its divisions over Syria and unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at getting life-saving aid to as many as two million Syrians through the most direct routes. 

After weeks of intense negotiations, Russia and China joined with other council members to support the measure.  Resolution 2165 is a follow up to a February resolution that also called for the immediate granting of access for aid deliveries, but which was largely ignored by the fighting factions, leading to more Syrians in need.

The difference between the two resolutions, and what diplomats hope will make a real impact, is the new resolution authorizes U.N. humanitarian agencies and their partners to use four additional border crossings into Syria, even without Damascus’s consent.  Two are on the Turkish-Syrian border, one is on the Iraqi border and the third is with Jordan.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said this would increase the supply of life-saving food and medications.

“If implemented fully, this resolution will allow critical aid to reach up to two million Syrians who have been denied adequate assistance for the past year and suffered immeasurably as a result. This resolution also authorizes the U.N. to cross conflict lines between regime and opposition forces to deliver aid,” she said.

But the new border crossings could be problematic, as Islamic militant groups are a threatening presence.  The crossing between Jordan and Syria was substituted into the final draft after security concerns arose around the crossing point that was originally envisioned.

The resolution also establishes a U.N. run-monitoring mechanism, for six months, that will inspect aid cargo entering Syria to confirm that it is solely humanitarian.

Luxembourg’s ambassador, Sylvie Lucas, who along with her counterparts from Jordan and Australia, authored the resolution, said the provisions were clear and legally binding.  

“Resolution 2165 is an operational and specific document; it is innovative.  We frankly hope it will allow for a true breakthrough on the ground.  If 2165 is not complied with, and resolution 2139 continues to suffer the same fate, the Security Council has clearly affirmed that supplementary measures will be taken,” she said.

The Syrian Coalition’s Special Representative to the United Nations, Najib Ghadbian said his group and the Free Syrian Army were ready “to facilitate safe, direct access” in areas under their control.

Damascus’s envoy, Bashar Ja’afari, urged humanitarian assistance not be politicized and said he hoped border crossings would not be exploited for moving arms and terrorists into the country.

The United Nations says nearly 11 million Syrians need aid, including almost 6.5 million who are displaced inside the country and 4.5 million living in hard-to-reach areas.  Nearly one quarter million more are trapped in besieged areas. 

You May Like

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid