UNSG “gravely concerned” over military offensive in SW Syria

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres voiced Thursday his grave concern over “the resumption of the military offensive in southwest Syria and its continued devastating impact on civilians,” where an estimated 750,000 lives are “in danger” and up to 325,000 people have been displaced.

Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric said in a statement that Guterres “fully supports today’s statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi,” saying “as the custodian of the 1951 Refugee Convention, he is the authoritative voice of the United Nations on refugees.” “The Secretary-General once again appeals for an immediate suspension of the hostilities and the resumption of negotiations. He calls on all parties to take all necessary measures to safeguard civilian lives, allow freedom of movement, and protect civilian infrastructure, including medical and educational facilities, at all times, in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” the statement stressed.

It added that Guterres “further reiterates his call for the United Nations to be allowed to conduct cross-border and cross line humanitarian deliveries to resume without further delay for the benefit of people in need within Syria.” The UN Security Council (UNSC) is holding an emergency meeting today on Syria at the request of Kuwait and Sweden to discuss the situation in southwest Syria, where it was reported that Russia blocked the UNSC from adopting a statement on the situation there.

Source: Kuwait News Agency