INDEPENDENT NEWS

UN chief urges ‘maximum restraint’ in Syria

Published: Wed 9 Oct 2019 09:38 AM
8 October 2019
UN chief urges ‘maximum restraint’ following policy shift over northeastern Syria
Peace and SecurityThe UN chief on Tuesday expressed “great concern” over recent policy statements made regarding northeastern Syria, following the announcement from the United States at the start of the week, that it would withdraw troops from the area close to the border with Turkey.
Secretary-General António Guterres, “has called on all parties to exercise maximum restraint,” said a statement released by his Spokesperson, emphasizing his concern for the risks posed to civilians by potential military actions in the war-torn region, following the announcement made on Twitter by President Donald Trump on Sunday night.
American forces have worked alongside Kurdish fighters in northern Syria for years as key allies in the fight against extremist group ISIL, which once held large swathes of the region. The troop withdrawal ignited concerns regarding the safety of Kurdish fighters amid reported fears of an assault by Turkish troops across the border, who regard the Kurdish militia as terrorists.
President Trump said via Twitter on Tuesday that the US would not “abandon” the Kurds, referring to them as “special people and wonderful fighters”, adding that “any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy”.
The Secretary-General said that civilians and civilian infrastructure in the region, which has now endured more than eight years of conflict, needed “to be protected at all times” adding that “sustained, unimpeded and safe humanitarian access to civilians in need must be guaranteed in order to (allow the) United Nations and its humanitarian partners to carry out their critical work in northern Syria.”
He reiterates “that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict.”
The statement concludes saying that “the only sustainable solution is a UN-facilitated political process pursuant to Security Council resolution 2254”, referring to the Council’s 2015 roadmap for Syria’s peace process.
New Constitutional Committee
After years of negotiation, the launch of a “credible” Constitutional Committee for Syria” announced last month by the UN chief, should be viewed as the beginning of a political process to end the conflict in the country, according to a statement from the Security Council on Tuesday.
In a Presidential Statement, Jerry Matthews Matjila, of South Africa, heading up the Council for the month of October, welcomed news of the Committee’s formation, hailing the Secretary-General’s 23 September announcement of the agreement between the Government of Syria and the Syrian Negotiations Commission on a “credible, balanced, and inclusive” Constitutional Committee.
The Council reaffirmed its strong support for the Special Envoy’s efforts, as well as the United Nations initiative to convene the Committee’s first meeting in Geneva before the end of the month.
Syria’s conflict can only be resolved through the full implementation of Security Council resolution 2254, the Council underscored in its statement.
ends

Next in World

At UN, youth activists press for bold action
By: United Nations
Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva dies, aged 78
By: RNZ
UK PM to Suspend Parliament; Queen's Speech
By: 10 Downing Street
Gordon Campbell on the Hong Kong protest movement
By: Gordon Campbell
4 days until intergenerational climate strike
By: School Strike 4 Climate
The Nation: Simon Shepherd Interviews James Shaw
By: The Nation
Coal use increasing under Labour-Green policies
By: New Zealand National Party
NZCTU calls on employers to release staff for Climate Strike
By: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
Interim Climate Change Committee Call for evidence launched
By: Interim Climate Change Committee
Climate change is here - we all need to do our part
By: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre
Preventing climate change cheaper than dealing with damage
By: University of Queensland
Winners of 2019 Global Youth Video Competition
By: UNFCCC
Extinction Rebellion: Leaving it to the Students
By: Binoy Kampmark
Major IPCC report: ‘The climate crisis is an oceans crisis’
By: Greenpeace
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media