Syria — Russia & China Veto UN Aid Package

  • The Russian side believes that, in view of the increasing control of the Syrian government in the country, aid from Syria itself has gradually become possible.
  • China’s opinion is that the Syrian government has not formally permitted the provision of international assistance to the northern region.
  • Germany and Belgium announced they would try again.

Since 2014, the humanitarian assistance provided by the United Nations has provided millions of Syrian people with basic survival supplies. Now, this rescue operation is facing a desperate situation because Russia and China once again used the veto power in the UN Security Council.

The UN Security Council consists of fifteen members, ten of which are elected on a regional basis to serve a term of two years. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.

However, hope has not completely shattered. In the July 10 vote of the Security Council, the compromised version of the Syrian humanitarian relief operation continuation plan, proposed by the rotating presidency of Germany, won 13 votes to 2 votes against. However, these two negative votes did come from Russia and China, which both have veto power.

Previously, international relief supplies have been entering the northern region of Syria through several border crossings on the Syrian-Turkish border, within the framework of the United Nations. The region is not under the control of the Syrian government forces.

Analysts pointed out that as a staunch ally of the Syrian government, Russia may want to strengthen the position of the Assad regime by breaking the international assistance of the Syrian opposition.

Prior international assistance was based on a Security Council resolution in 2014. According to the resolution, the United Nations went out to deliver humanitarian aid to parts of Syria that were not controlled by Assad government forces. According to estimates by Western countries, about 2.8 million people rely on these materials.

At first, the resolution specified four material crossing points on the Syrian-Turkish border. Later, under Russian pressure, the number of crossing points was reduced to two. According to reports from aid organizations, the supply of materials in some areas has seriously deteriorated.

The 2014 resolution expired on Saturday. This week, the Security Council had repeatedly voted on different rescue continuation plans. Russia and China used their veto powers more than once.

Germany and Belgium proposed a compromise plan in the Security Council on Friday. It originally planned to extend the validity of the 2014 resolution for another 6 months. After the voting results were released, both Germany and Belgium expressed disappointment with the results.

The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing multi-sided civil war in Syria fought between the Ba’athist Syrian Arab Republic led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government and each other in varying combinations. The war is currently the second deadliest of the 21st century.

The two countries issued a statement that, in view of the rejection of the “pure humanitarian proposal,” the Security Council must find a plan to guarantee the important supply route for the Syrian people.

The Russian side believes that, in view of the increasing control of the Syrian government in the country, aid from Syria itself has gradually become possible. Thus, the previous international aid mechanism must be “gradually ended.”

China’s opinion is that the Syrian government has not formally permitted the provision of international assistance to the northern region, so the UN’s aid operations are suspected of violating Syria’s sovereignty.

After the German plan was rejected, Russia also proposed its own plan: a year of humanitarian assistance, but the number of border crossing points on the Syrian-Turkish border remains only one. The plan also failed.

People in the diplomatic circle disclosed that the 15 members of the Security Council have not given up seeking a compromise solution on this issue. The German Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Christoph Heusgen, told reporters that Germany and Belgium are currently working on a new compromise plan, which is expected to be submitted for voting this weekend.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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