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UN threatens to suspend its cross-border humanitarian operations into Syria

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The United Nations threatened, on Friday, to suspend its cross-border humanitarian operations to Syria if the Security Council was unable to extend the delivery mechanism for that aid.

This came in a press conference held by the spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, Stephen Dougric, at the permanent headquarters of the international organization in New York, hours before a session devoted to voting to extend that mechanism.

And today, Friday, the mandate of the mechanism for the delivery of cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria, which is currently in effect, will be terminated by a decision renewed annually by the Security Council.

Doug Rick said the United Nations “very much hopes” that at its meeting this afternoon (New York time), the United Nations Security Council will be able to reach agreement on the extension mechanism.

Dougrick warned again that “cross-border aid deliveries will be suspended at the end of this day unless the Security Council renews the mandate of the aid mechanism.”

“As he was killed before: There is no alternative to the aid mechanism, and millions of Syrians will be harmed if it is not renewed,” he added.

In response to reporters’ questions regarding the submission of two competing draft resolutions on the mechanism, the spokesperson said, “What is important to us is the renewal of the mechanism and the humanitarian access of millions of Syrians.”

Council members are expected to vote on a joint tripartite draft resolution between Kuwait, Belgium and Germany that proposes to extend the mechanism’s work for a period of 6 months, not an entire year, and to reduce the number of crossing points from 4 crossings to only 3 after the Ramtha crossing at the Syrian-Jordanian border is closed.

On the other hand, members of the Council are also expected to vote on the competing draft resolution (put forward by Russia), which allows aid to pass through only two crossings and extend the mechanism’s mandate for a period of six months.

Last December, China and Russia hampered the efforts of the UN Security Council to issue the tripartite joint draft resolution between Kuwait, Belgium and Germany on the renewal of that mechanism.

In a closed session of the council, the two countries used their veto power to block the resolution.

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