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UN’s shameful failure on Syria ceasefire

Feb 10,2018 - Last updated at Feb 10,2018

It is simply "shameful" that the UN Security Council (UNSC) could not take a position last Thursday on the appeal by UN aid officials for a month-long humanitarian ceasefire to allow food and medicine to reach the besieged Syrian people in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area of Damascus.

Some 400,000 people in that part of Damascus have been the object of sustained and cruel bombardment by the Syrian government forces, including the use of chlorine chemical attacks, which is killing hundreds of them almost on daily basis.

The UN humanitarian coordinator, Panos Moumtzis, has made this appeal but with no avail. Kuwait and Sweden had officially called for the meeting in the hope that the council, in good conscience, would respond favourably to the strictly humanitarian call for even a limited truce to save lives and allow for the evacuation of the critically sick and injured Syrians, many of whom are children.

The Russian ambassador to the UN blocked an action by the UNSC on the deteriorating situation in Syria, including in Idlib province –– also a scene of daily ground and aerial bombardment by Russian and Syrian forces — calling the ceasefire idea as "unrealistic!”

Since when is a humanitarian appeal for saving lives and evacuating the ill and injured "unrealistic?" but that's how Moscow sees it!

This lopsided logic is most regrettable, especially coming from a super power, and at a time when the areas affected are declared as de-escalation zones, an idea that Moscow itself sponsored and promoted.

The failed meeting of the UNSC could still be resurrected from a complete disaster if the members would turn the closed door session into an open one to show the world at large who stands in the way of an even humanitarian action by the UN. 

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