UN Security Council resolution on Syria

Media release

24 February 2014

I welcome the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council on 22 February of a breakthrough resolution on the humanitarian crisis in Syria. This is the biggest and most devastating humanitarian crisis facing the world today.

The resolution, drafted by Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg, places firm demands on all parties to the conflict, particularly the Syrian regime, to:

  • cease deliberate attacks, including through aerial bombing and the use of barrel bombs, against the Syrian people
  • end sieges that have trapped more than 240,000 civilians and end the use of starvation as a weapon of war
  • facilitate access for humanitarian assistance including across conflict lines and border areas.

The resolution also makes clear the Council's intention to take further steps in the event of non-compliance.

The adoption of the resolution is a necessary step by the Council to address the appalling suffering of the Syrian people, but is only a first step.

The resolution must be fully implemented on the ground, and primary responsibility for that lies with the Syrian authorities. Council members and others must also do what they can to press for action to implement it.

The Council has been able to reach unanimous agreement on a difficult resolution after a three year deadlock.

Australia was pleased to play its part, as co-lead, in negotiating an outcome that focuses on the needs of the Syrian people.

Australia has contributed $112.8 million in assistance since the conflict in Syria began in 2011, including a further commitment in January this year of $10 million in humanitarian aid and $2 million to support efforts to destroy Syria's chemical weapons.

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