UN resolution on earthquake aid to Syria via Turkey

UN resolution on earthquake aid to Syria via Turkey
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As the first week of rescue efforts for earthquake victims conclude, the US ambassador to the UN a vote on a resolution to authorize additional border crossings from Turkey into Syria to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid.

The death toll in the earthquakes that have struck Turkey and Syria has passed 33,000. In rebel-held northwest Syria, which was hard-hit by the disaster, international aid was slow to arrive and hindered by the ongoing civil war.

As the search and rescue efforts reach their one-week mark, Reuters reports that Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, has called for an immediate vote by the Security Council to authorize additional border crossings from Turkey to deliver much-needed aid to Syria.

Thomas-Greenfield said, “We cannot let them down - we must vote immediately on a resolution to heed the U.N.'s call for authorization of additional border crossings for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.”

Though a draft resolution has not yet been written, UN figures are supportive of the measure to facilitate aid through additional crossings. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, told Sky News that there is “a very clear humanitarian case” and that he would ask the Security Council to authorize aid transportation through two more border crossings.

Griffiths, who visited the Turkish-Syrian border on Sunday, noted that Syrians were left “looking for international help that hasn’t arrived.”

Abdel-Monem Qassem al-Razouq, a Syrian earthquake survivor who lost 13 relatives including his sisters, says, “The whole world has failed the Syrian people. If this destruction had taken place in Europe or in any other country, the whole world would have rushed to save those who were killed. But here, no one cares about us. We were driven out of our homes. Nobody asked for us, we were bombed, barrel bombed, nobody cared about us. We do not buy anything from Turkey or from here (government side). We are surrounded."

For a resolution to pass in the 15-member Security Council, it would need nine votes in favor, and no vetoes by any of the five permanent members, Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US. Russia has previously expressed that the existing border crossing was sufficient to deliver aid, while the Assad government regards deliveries across the rebel-controlled borders near Turkey as a violation of its sovereignty.