The Security Council issued resolution no. 2165 which is specific to entering humanitarian aid into Syria via four points: two in Turkey (Bab al-Salaam and Bab al-Hawa), one in Iraq (al-Ya’rouba), and one in Jordan (al-Ramtha). This resolution is the first UN decree which allows the entering of humanitarian aid via crossings which do not fall under the control of the regime in Damascus.
The resolution expressed its utter dismay at the rapid and dangerous deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria, as well as at the rapid increase of civilians- over 10 million- in need of assistance, including 6.4 million internally displaced people and over 4.5 million that are living in areas which are difficult to reach, as well as over 240,000 trapped in besieged areas.
The resolution praised the efforts made by neighbouring countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, for accommodating over 2.8 million refugees that have fled the current violence, including approximately 300,000 refugees that have fled since the adoption of resolution 2139 in 2014. The resolution urged all member countries to offer support (on the basis of the principle of burden-sharing) to the neighbouring countries in order so that they can meet the increasing humanitarian needs, and to directly provide them with aid.
The resolution also condemned the widespread violation of human rights and international humanitarian law being committed by the Syrian regime, as well as the violations being committed by armed groups.
In particular, the resolution also expressed its extreme dismay at the continuation of arbitrary attacks on highly populated areas, including the increase in aerial bombardments and the use of explosive barrels in Aleppo and other areas, as well as shelling, airstrikes, the widespread use of torture and ill treatment, sexual and gender-based violence and physical assault against children. The resolution confirmed that some of these violations are considered war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The resolution urged all sides of put an end to the use of the military in medical centres, schools and other civic facilities, as well as avoiding the setting up of military points in highly populated areas, and to stop attacks on civilian targets.
The resolution also expressed its frustration at the persistence in withholding approval in an arbitrary and unjustified manner on aid operations, as well as the continuation in conditions which make it difficult for aid to reach its intended recipients within Syria, especially besieged areas and those which are difficult to reach.
In addition, the resolution urged all sides to immediately work towards fully implementing the Geneva statement issued on 30/6/2012, and which aimed to put an immediate end to all acts of violence and violations of human rights and international law. The Geneva statement also aims to work towards facilitating the operation which began in Montreux: to lead to a transition which meets the needs of the Syrian people and to allow them to determine their own future in a democratic and independent manner.
The decree authorised humanitarian agencies of the UN and their implementing partners to use corridors that are not in the areas of conflict and the border crossings of Bab al-Salaam, Bab al-Hawa, al-Ya’rouba and al-Ramtha in addition to current crossings they are using, in order to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid- including medical equipment- to those who need it across Syria in the fastest manner possible.
The resolution also called for the establishing of a mechanism- with the agreement of the neighbouring countries- to observe the shipment of humanitarian aid sent by humanitarian agencies of the UN and its implementing partners, and the subsequent monitoring of shipments thereafter by the custom authorities of the concerned countries.
This resolution is a positive step from the international community in dealing with the humanitarian crisis which Syria has been witnessing for three years, and in which they bypassed the reservations made by supporters of the regime amongst the international community and allowed dealings with other sides in the conflict which control more than half of Syrian land.
However, despite this, the resolution lacks strong condemnation of the war crimes perpetrated (mainly due to the influence of regime supporters in the Security Council and especially the Russian side), swapping such statements with shows of concern and dismay. Such actions weaken the System of International Law for human rights, and turns war crimes and crimes against humanity into mere points of view which doesn’t draw critical positions from the international community.
SHRC expresses its surprise at the Security Council’s lack of ability in condemning war crimes which the UN itself has recorded after three years and four months of the Syrian conflict. This is whilst SHRC welcomes the decision of the entering of aid via crossings not controlled by the Syrian regime.
SHRC also calls upon all Syrian institutions in the non-governmental areas to take all measures in dealing with this resolution and to secure the necessary facilities in entering the humanitarian aid, including the protection of the convoys and the distribution of aid in a relevant manner.
Syrian Human Rights Committee