The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted Resolution 2191 in response to the appalling humanitarian situation in Syria. Australia, working with Jordan and Luxembourg, co-authored and co-led negotiations on the resolution, which will allow the UN to increase aid deliveries across borders and conflict lines.

The humanitarian situation in Syria remains dire due to the brutal campaign being waged by the Assad regime against its own citizens. The situation has been made worse by the consolidation of control by ISIL in eastern and northern Syria. There are more than 3.3 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries and 7.6 million internally displaced persons.

The resolution adopted today extends for a further 12 months the mandate for UN agencies and their partners to use four specified border crossings into Syria for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. It reiterates the Council’s demand on all parties, particularly the Syrian regime, to cease attacks on civilians and respect international humanitarian and human rights law. It will ensure the Council will continue to monitor the situation and actions by parties to meet their obligations.

Australia has worked consistently during our 2013-2014 term to ensure the Council supports efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria, including co-authoring two previous resolutions with Jordan and Luxembourg. We have provided $135.8 million in assistance for those affected by the conflict since it began in 2011.

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