U.N. draft resolution boost aid access to Syria

The draft resolution also calls for forming a “monitoring mechanism” under U.N. authority

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A U.N. Security Council draft resolution authorizes U.N. aid agencies and their “implementing partners” to use main border crossing, including conflict lines, to distribute aid in Syria with only prior notification to the government in Damascus.

The draft resolution, obtained by Al Arabiya Bureau Chief in New York Talal al-Haj, calls for forming a “monitoring mechanism” under U.N. authority to oversee “the loading of all humanitarian relief consignments.”

The monitoring should be conducted “with the consent of the relevant neighboring countries of Syria,” according to the draft resolution, prepared by Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg.

The monitors would be “deployed expeditiously, for an initial period of 120 days from the adoption of this resolution,” the draft resolution added.

It also calls on the warring Syrian parties to cooperate in the delivery of aid to ensure the humanitarian assistance goes directly to the people throughout Syria without hindrance.

Although the document calls on “all Syrian parties” to ensure the safety and security of the U.N. monitors, it places the main responsibility with the Syrian government.

“The primary responsibility in this regard lies with the Syrian authorities,” according to the document.

The draft did not refer to Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, on the Council’s authority to enforce decisions with economic sanctions or military force.

The Syrian government has been particularly apprehensive about the draft being under Chapter 7.

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.

Russia’s permanent representative to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin, had 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. But the Russian proposal did not apparently find support among Western U.N. Security Council members.