12th March, 2015 :Â
The United Nations and a global coalition of aid agencies have accused international powers of failing the victims of the Syrian conflict.
Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the UN chief, told the BBC powerful nations had put their own interests ahead of the need to end the war.
He was responding to a joint report from humanitarian agencies, which criticised the UN Security Council.
It said civilians had experienced their “worst year” since the conflict began.
Mr Dujarric told the BBC the UN still believed in bringing about a political solution to the conflict and called on the international community to unite.
He said there had been real success in eliminating President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons and getting some humanitarian aid through, but the supply of weapons to the warring parties was just making things worse.
“We have found a lack of political will to move forward in a united fashion to stop the fighting,” Mr Dujarric said.
The Failing Syria report by agencies, including Save the Children and Oxfam, said the 15 member Security Council had not fulfilled pledges to increase aid access and alleviate suffering.
“The bitter reality is that the Security Council has failed to implement its resolutions,” said Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, another of the groups involved in the report.
“Parties to the conflict have acted with impunity and ignored the Security Council’s demands, civilians are not protected and their access to relief has not improved,” he added.
Three Security Council resolutions passed last year called for an end to attacks on civilians, an increase in aid, and allowed the UN to operate in Syria without permission from Damascus, among other things.
The Failing Syria report says:
- People are not protected: 2014 was the deadliest year of the conflict in Syria, with at least 76,000 Syrians killed
- Aid access has not improved: 4.8 million people in need reside in areas defined by the UN as “hard to reach”, one million more than in 2013
- Needs have increased: 5.6 million children are in need of aid, a 31% increase since 2013
- The humanitarian response has decreased compared to needs: In 2013, 71% of the funds needed to support civilians inside Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries were provided. In 2014, this had declined to 57%
Separate analysis by another group of charities says 83% of Syria’s lights visible from space have gone out.
WithSyria, a coalition of more than 100 humanitarian and human rights organisations, released satellite imagery showing that the number of lights had fallen dramatically since March 2011.