A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information No. 226/20 December 2017
Staffan de Mistura, the Special Envoy for Syria, briefed the Security Council on 19 December on the conclusion of the eighth round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva. He noted the Syrian Government’s refusal to meet directly with the opposition until the Riyadh 2 declaration was withdrawn. The Special Envoy said that the time has come for the UN to provide specific elaboration on the constitutional and electoral baskets. Mr. de Mistura proposed a series of next steps, which he said come from his intense engagement with the parties to implement resolution 2254 (2015).
Security Council renews Syrian cross-border relief convoys amid ongoing challenges for aid workers
The Security Council on 19 December renewed the authorization for United Nations relief agencies and their partners to use routes across conflict lines and border crossings to deliver lifesaving assistance to millions in north-west and southern Syria through Turkey and Jordan. The renewal authorizes the cross-border aid deliveries as well as the monitoring of consignments until 10 January 2019. Mark Lowcock, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, on 19 December welcomed the Security Council’s adoption of the resolution. He said that cross-border deliveries will remain an essential part of UN efforts to meet the needs of all those across Syria who require humanitarian assistance. He added that in besieged eastern Ghouta, increased fighting and lack of humanitarian access is rendering life unbearable for an estimated 393,000 people trapped inside the enclave.
‘Golden opportunity’ missed for progress on intra-Syrian talks, says UN envoy
A “golden opportunity” has been missed to decide the future of Syria at the end of the latest round of United Nations-supported talks in Geneva, UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said in Geneva on 14 December. He added that he was disappointed at the Government’s lack of engagement on any issue other than counter-terrorism, before adding that he intended to call a new round of talks in January. One of the main goals of this eighth round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva was to get the still-warring parties to consider a new constitution for the war-ravaged country and UN-backed elections. He maintained that his efforts to secure peace in the country will continue, until those with the power to stop the fighting realized that there can be no reconstruction in Syria – devastated as it is by nearly seven years of war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives – without a political process and UN-backed elections.
Kuwait contributes US$ 5 million to UNRWA in support of Palestine refugees in Syria
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on 14 December announced that it received a contribution of US$ 5 million from the State of Kuwait in support of Palestine refugees and UNRWA operations in Syria. Kuwait’s Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Mr. Al-Otaibi, handed over a cheque to the UNRWA Representative in New York, Peter Mulrean.
Kuwait supports WFP food assistance to Syrians in urgent need
The Government of Kuwait has announced a US$5 million contribution to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for food assistance to the most vulnerable Syrians affected by the unabating conflict. In a statement issued on 14 December, WFP said that the contribution from Kuwait will help WFP to provide urgent food assistance to affected families inside Syria as well as Syrian refugees living in Lebanon and Jordan. More than six million people in Syria do not have enough food to eat and continue to face extremely difficult circumstances due to ongoing insecurity, displacement and poverty. Syrian families who have sought refuge in Lebanon and Jordan struggle to feed their families and desperately depend on support from WFP and resources such as those provided by Kuwait.
UN Radio in Arabic
UN official warns of the gravity of the humanitarian situation in eastern Ghouta
مسؤول دولي يحذر من خطورة الوضع الإنساني في الغوطة الشرقية
The Security Council renews resolution on the delivery of humanitarian aid across conflict lines in Syria
جلس الأمن يعتمد قرارا بشأن توصيل المساعدات الإنسانية إلى سوريا
Staffan de Mistursa: The eighth round of inter-Syrian talks was a “missed golden opportunity”
دي مستورا: الجولة الثامنة من المحادثات السورية فرصة ذهبية ضائعة
@OCHA_Syria, 20 December
Highest level of malnutrition in the country since the conflict began is recorded in #EastGhouta. Read @UNReliefChief remarks to @UN Security Council on #Syria
@UN_News_Centre, 20 December
Increased fighting and lack of humanitarian access rendering life “unbearable” for an estimated 393,000 people trapped in eastern Ghouta, Syria, @UNReliefChief tells Security Council www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=58315#.WjqXwVWnFpg
@OCHA_Syria, 19 December
The @UN welcomes the Security Council’s adoption of #UNSC2393 which will enable life-saving cross-border humanitarian assistance from #Turkey and #Jordan to millions of people in #Syria to continue
@UNRWA, 18 December
Throwback to 1972: Refugee children in the Bitter Winter Wind in Deraa refugee camp in Syria. Find more photos from the #UNRWAArchive at http://unrwa.photoshelter.com #forPalestinerefugees #سوريا #للاجئي_فلسطين
@OCHA_Syria, 17 December
Only two humanitarian convoys entered besieged and hard-to-reach areas this month. Essential that the @UN receive Syrian Government clearances ASAP to deliver aid to people in need #Syria
@OCHA_Syria, 17 December
Grave concern for plight of almost 400,000 civilians in #EastGhouta, read NGOs appeal to all parties to de-escalate violence in #Syria https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/ngos-call-all-parties-de-escalate-violence-syria
@UninSyria, 17 December
The @UN stands ready to deliver humanitarian assistance to people in need in #Rukban camp at the border with #Jordan as soon as Government approval is granted said the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in #Syria Ali Al-Za’tari
@UNGeneva, 15 December
“We did not achieve” ~ At the end of the 8th #SyrianTalks last night, Staffan de Mistura, @UN Special Envoy for #Syria, briefed the Press @UNGeneva on the outComes of the 2-week negotiations http://bit.ly/2Bt34j1
@UNGeneva, 14 December
As 8th round of #SyriaTalks ends, Staffan de Mistura, @UN Special Envoy for #Syria, says « regrettably, it is a missed golden opportunity ».
@OCHA_Syria, 14 December
Humanitarian assistance being offloaded now for 60,000 people in hard-to-reach areas in #Homs and #Hama #Syria @UN @SYRedCrescent
@UNGeneva, 14 December
#Syrie : Staffan de Mistura regrette qu’il n’y ait pas eu de « vraies négociations » à Genève – http://goo.gl/Ld3gHR
@UNHCRinSYRIA, 14 December
Helping 3000 farms in #Tartous and rural parts by supporting their greenhouses for tomato producing, this FAO and @Refugees project helps over 150k vulnerable #Syrians with their #livelihoods #SupportSyrians
Social media campaigns
UNRWA Transforms the Lives of Palestine Refugees with Disabilities
On 3 December, UNRWA joins the rest of the world in celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year’s global theme, ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies for all’, celebrates the important contribution persons with disabilities can make in their communities, when given equal opportunities. Removing barriers and facilitating inclusion can empower persons with disabilities to become agents of change in their own lives and communities, striving towards ending exclusion and promoting equality. UNRWA provides physiotherapy treatment and equipment for Palestine refugee children in Khan Dunoun refugee camp in Syria, Ahmad and Ali are among these beneficiaries.
#My Voice-My School is an UNRWA project launched in 2015 and implemented by Digital Explorer to connect schools in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon with schools in Europe and USA through Skype exchanges. Through live video conversations and customized teaching materials, students and teachers explore how education can help them meet their future aspirations. www.unrwa.org/myvoicemyschool
@ShareTheMeal: In April 2016, the World Food Programme launched its phone application to support fundraising efforts for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. ShareTheMeal’s fundraising aims to support 1,400 refugee children. Through the app, smartphone users can join thousands of other people in making donations and support a selected community and monitor progress. Since the launch of the campaign, more than 15 million meals have been shared.
#Unite4Heritage is a global movement run by UNESCO that aims to celebrate and safeguard cultural heritage and diversity around the world. Launched in response to the unprecedented attacks on world heritage sites, the campaign calls on everyone to stand up against extremism and radicalization by celebrating the places, objects and cultural traditions that make the world such a rich and vibrant place.
#NoLostGeneration: The initiative was launched by UNICEF and partners in 2013 to focus attention on the plight of children affected by the Syrian crisis. By articulating real concerns about the possible ‘loss’ of a generation of children to the effects of violence and displacement, the initiative put education and child protection at the centre of the response inside Syria and across the refugee hosting countries (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt).
Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria
DPI Focus Page on Syria:
UN System agencies :
OCHA: http:/unocha.org/syria, twitter.com/ocha_syria, facebook.com/UNOCHA.Syria
UNESCO Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage Project: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/beirut/areas-of-action/culture/syria/emergency-safeguarding-of-the-syrian-heritage/
UNESCO Observatory of Syrian Cultural Heritage https://en.unesco.org/syrian-observatory/
UNESCO Bridging Learning Gaps for Youth: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/syria-crisis-response/bridging-learning-gaps/