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U.N. Assembly adopts Saudi proposal on Syria aid access

The Saudi draft resolution asks the Syrian government to stop blocking aid delivery to affected people

Published: Updated:

The U.N. General Assembly’s human right committee approved on Tuesday a Saudi draft resolution demanding immediate humanitarian access to Syrians trapped in the country’s civil war.

The draft resolution passed by the General Assembly’s Third Committee also demanded the Syrian government to stop hampering aid delivery through “bureaucratic impediments and other obstacles.”

The resolution was supported by a vast majority of 123 states and was opposed by 13 countries, including Russia and China.

The resolution “stresses that the magnitude of the humanitarian tragedy caused by the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic requires immediate action to facilitate the safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout the entire country.”

It “demands that the Syrian authorities take immediate steps to facilitate the expansion of humanitarian relief operations and lift bureaucratic impediments and other obstacles, including through immediately facilitating safe and unimpeded access to people in need, through the most effective ways, including across conflict lines and across borders.”

The resolution approved Tuesday also comes close to blaming the Syrian government and military for the deadly Aug. 21 nerve gas attack in a Damascus suburb held by the rebels, Associated Press reported.

It said that the September report by U.N. chemical weapons inspectors “provides clear evidence that surface-to-surface rockets were fired on 21 August from Government-held territory into opposition areas, using professionally made munitions containing Sarin.”

The U.N. report itself was careful not to assign blame. The United States said more than 1,400 people were killed, including at least 400 children.

The United Nations estimates that 6.8 million of Syria’s 21.4 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.

While much of the resolution is aimed at the Syrian government, it also “condemns all violence, irrespective of where it comes from, and calls upon all parties to immediately put an end to all forms of violence, including terrorist acts and acts of violence or intimidation that may foment sectarian tensions, and to comply strictly with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law.”

(With the Associated Press)