Draft resolution puts Syria aid under U.N. supervision

In response, Syria warned that any unauthorized aid would be considered as an act of aggression

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A U.N. Security Council draft resolution seeks to authorize U.N. “humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners” to deliver aid across the Syrian border under U.N. supervision only, prompting the Syrian government to warn that any attempt by aid convoys to deliver aid to rebel areas without its prior consent would amount to an attack.

The Syrian government has been particularly apprehensive about the draft - prepared by Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg - being under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, which authorizes military action and other coercive measures to implement it.

But the draft resolution, obtained by Al Arabiya Bureau Chief in New York Talal al-Haj, does not mention Chapter 7.

The draft says aid agencies “are authorized to use any and all routes, including across conflict lines and across borders, in particular the border crossings of Bab al-Salam, Bab al-Hawa, al-Yarubiyah and Tal Shihab, in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance, including medical and surgical supplies, reaches people in need throughout Syria, and to this end stresses the need for all border crossings to be used efficiently for United Nations humanitarian operations.”

It calls for establishing “an international monitoring mission under the authority of the United Nations Secretary-General, to monitor and facilitate, with the consent of the relevant neighboring countries of Syria, the passage of all humanitarian relief consignments.”

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari had sent a letter to the United Nations warning any possible measure to deliver humanitarian aid without the Syrian government’s permission.

“Importing aid in coordination with terrorist organizations and without consultation with the Syrian state would amount to an attack on the Syrian state and on its territorial integrity and political independence,” the letter said, according to Reuters.

Russia’s permanent representative to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin, told Al Arabiya’s New York correspondent in a press briefing that his country has proposed an amendment with a “elegant and innovative [mechanism] formula” to ensure the delivery of aide across the Syrian border. He said the new mechanism ensures that the Syrian government will not be the only party in control of the border crossings.

Ambassador Churkin emphasized that they are waiting for the approval next week of this amendment to go ahead with the vote and passage of this draft resolution.

The proposed U.N. monitoring mission will be deployed immediately if the resolution is approved and will be for an initial period of 120 days.

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