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On Syria & Amos Access, UNSC Circulates Draft Press Statement, Online Here by ICP

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, February 29, updated -- After the UN's humanitarian chief Valerie Amos announced she was blocked from entering Syria, inside the UN Security Council a draft press statement was prepared. Inner City Press obtained a copy and publishes it below. Two delegations told the Press it was under "silence procedure" to see if all Council members agree to it. [See below.]


The members of the Security Council express their deep disappointment at the Syrian Government's failure to authorize the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator's visit to Syria, despite repeated requests and intense diplomatic contacts aimed at securing Syrian approval. The members of the Security Council demand that the Syrian authorities grant the coordinator immediate and unhindered access.

The members of the Security Council deplore the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation, in particular the growing number of affected civilians, the lack of safe access to adequate medical services, and food shortages, particularly in areas affected by fighting such as Homs, Hama, Deraa, Idlib.

The members of the Security Council demand that the Syrian authorities immediately allow immediate, full and unimpeded humanitarian access for all populations in need of assistance, and call upon the Syrian government to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance and allow evacuation of the wounded from affected areas.

As Council consultations broke up at 1:40 pm, to resume at 3 pm with a meeting about Sudan, one of the Western diplomats working on the draft asked Inner City Press, "Where did you get it? Don't --"

The diplomat seemed to be urging that the draft not be published, but did not explain why. Could it be so no one would know what they trade away?

(c) UN Photo
Amos arrives with suitcase - in Haiti. Syria not shown

 We work on the premise that those on the moral highground benefit from transparency. Watch this site.

Update of 3 pm: as Council members went in at 3 pm for a briefing on Sudan, one delegation told the press the draft "is not under silence procedure, we are going to discuss it." Watch this site.

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Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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