Today, at the 7611th meeting of the Council, there was an unanimous vote led by the President in favor of document S/2016/81, a draft resolution presented by France. The meeting was adjourned immediately afterwards.
The 7612th meeting about the situation in the Middle East and the agenda to be adopted in accordance with it, the S/2016/60 report of the Secretary General, was then initiated. Firstly, Mr. O’Brien spoke on the necessity to agree on providing aid in Syria despite political barriers. With over 200,000 people killed and more than 1 million injured, there are now 4.6 million refugees; the 13.5 million people left are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. He stressed the importance on the protection of civilians, calling the situation in Madaya as the “tip of the iceberg.” To give more numbers on the conflict in Syria, there are 2 million people out of school; 35 schools attacked in 2015. A mere 10% of the 113 requests on the much-needed humanitarian assistance were resolved, and many could not be approved due to the lack of security. He stressed three conditions: 1) stop targeting civilians and their infrastructures that are necessary for human survival, 2) facilitate full access to all people in need, including besieged areas for medical supplies, and 3) allow freedom of movement for all civilians. “The Syrian people cannot wait any longer,” he stated. Ms. Cousin reiterated this call for help with her following briefing. In July 2014, the first interagency convoy allowed people to leave and enter Madaya with only one checkpoint. However, in December 2015, the checkpoint was closed, leaving 44,000 people besieged. Now, food there is very limited – this is just one example of the struggle in Syria that desperately needs aid.
Meeting: Security Council, 7611th & 7612th Meeting
Date/Location: Wednesday, January 27th, 2016; 10:00-11:00; Security Council Chamber
Speakers: President of the United Nations Security Council, José Luis Cancela; Mr. Stephen O’Brien: Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator; Ms. Ertharin Cousin: Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme
Written By: WIT Representative Jin Yoo
Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick
Photo Credit: Unknown