World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Syria Talks on Politics - Question of Aid Delivery Stalls

Syria Talks Turn to Political Issues as Question of Aid Delivery Stalls – UN-Arab League Envoy

New York, Jan 27 2014 - Discussions on humanitarian issues at the Syria talks in Geneva “have not produced much,” said the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States today, but he added “there is still hope,” and the talks will resume tomorrow.

Lakhdar Brahimi briefed journalists at the Palais des Nations after a third day of talks with him acting as a buffer between representatives of the Syrian Government and opposition groups.

“In the morning we discussed a paper presented by the Government, general principles, most of those principles are already in the Geneva Declaration,” he said. “And tomorrow we are going to talk about the Geneva Declaration itself and see if we can start debate.”

The discussions focused this weekend on getting an aid convoy into Homs, and on allowing civilians to leave the besieged city, cut off from supplies. The idea is that if agreement can be reached on humanitarian issues, it could bring the parties together to work through the political challenges.

The Syrian Government has agreed to allow women and children to exit “immediately”, but has asked for a list of the men’s names before letting the rest of the civilians pass.

“I think the Government is willing to make it happen, but it’s not easy because there are snipers and there are all sorts of problems,” Mr. Brahimi said.

On the food convoy, a topic that was to be discussed today in Syria by the Homs Governor, his advisors and the Government in Damascus, “there is no decision yet to let them in.”

“So I am still begging, asking, that we, something be done about these areas, whether these areas are under siege by the Government or by the armed groups,” Mr. Brahimi stressed.

Of the more than 9.3 million people within the country needing humanitarian aid, over 2.5 million live in areas where access is seriously constrained or non-existent, such as Homs.

In addition, well over 100,000 people have been killed and nearly 9 million others driven from their homes since the conflict erupted in March 2011 between the Government and various groups seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.

“My expectation from this conference is that the unjust war will stop. But I know this is not going to happen today or tomorrow or next week,” Mr. Brahimi told journalists, adding that despite a lack of progress, there is “will to continue these discussions.”

The goal of the conference is to achieve a political solution to the three-year-long conflict through a comprehensive agreement between the two sides for the full implementation of the Geneva communiqué, adopted after the first international meeting on the issue on 30 June 2012, and since endorsed by the UN Security Council.

The communiqué lays out key steps in a process to end the violence. Among others, it calls for the establishment of a transitional governing body, with full executive powers and made up by members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups, as part of agreed principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led political transition.

Mr. Brahimi, who has briefed journalists daily since the latest round of the talks started, also called on the two sides to be “a bit careful” with statement made to the media.

“I have told them this afternoon that there was need to be responsible and respect, if possible, the confidentiality of the discussions,” the joint envoy said. “If you don’t respect the confidentiality at least don’t overstate the case.”

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news