Russia’s UN Ambassador Nebenzia Hails Adoption of Syria Aid Resolution as ‘Historic Moment’
July 10, 2021 (EIRNS)—Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia described the UN Security Council’s unanimous adoption of the joint Russian-American resolution on cross-border aid for Syria as an “historic moment.” Nebenzia explained that Russia spelled out its red lines during consultations on the document and secured provisions in the final document that had been lacking in the original draft. He stressed how important it is that the resolution is a compromise.
“This is a historic moment. For the first time Russia and the United States not only could agree, but elaborate a consolidated draft resolution that found support with all our colleagues in the Council. Hopefully, this kind of scenario will be a turning point that not only Syria and the Middle East, but the entire world will benefit from,” he concluded in his statement.
Nebenzia stated that, for the first time, the resolution emphasizes the development of shipments across the contact line, that is, from inside Syria via Damascus. “Thus UNSC members gave the green light to having the CBM [Cross-Border Mechanism] gradually supplemented, and then substituted by cross-line humanitarian deliveries,” he underscored. The cross-border aid mechanism will be closely supervised, and the UN Secretary General will report to the Security Council about its operation in six months.
The resolution, prepared by Russia, the U.S., Ireland and Norway, implies the extension of the operation of the Bab al-Hawa checkpoint on the Syrian-Turkish border for six months, and likely to be extended another six months after that.
TASS also quotes an unnamed senior U.S. administration official at yesterday’s White House briefing, saying that the passing of the resolution would not have been possible without the summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. “So, we think that’s quite a consequential action and a genuine impact of the President’s personal engagement and of the summit,” the official said.
The resolution also addresses “the practical measures to address the socio-economic impact of COVID,” which Nebenzia said should be paid for by the international community. In his exchange with media after the resolution signing, he harshly addressed the French threat to withhold that funding for humanitarian relief barring political change in Syria. He told the media:
“But you heard what UNSC President [French Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière] said when speaking in his national capacity. He said that they would not provide a single cent unless they saw a credible political process. To that we tell them: ‘You are not doing this assistance for the Syrian government, you are doing this for the Syrian people. And that cannot be conditional. Whatever you might think of the Syrian government, the Syrian people should not suffer.’ ”
The resolution calls on the UN’s 193 member nations “to respond with practical steps to address the urgent needs of the Syrian people in light of the profound socioeconomics and humanitarian impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Syria, as a country in a situation of complex humanitarian emergency.” It also welcomes “all efforts and initiatives to broaden the humanitarian activities in Syria, including water, sanitation, health, education, and shelter” as well as early recovery projects.