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Kuwait urges UNSC to aid Syrian civilians
February 14, 2014, 9:37 am

Kuwait has called on the international community to exert greater efforts to halt violence and immediately seek a political settlement to the Syrian crisis.

Ambassador Mansour Al Otaibi, the head of the Kuwaiti permanent mission at the United Nations, also urged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to undertake its responsibilities and abstain from remaining tight-lipped regarding the wide-scale, grave and systematic breaches of human rights and international laws in Syria.

The chief Kuwaiti diplomat, addressing a UNSC session late on Wednesday that tackled the issue of civilians’ protection in armed conflicts, also appealed to the council to issue a resolution under Chapter VII “to continuously deal with deterioration of humanitarian conditions” in Syria.

According to the Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, Ambassador Mansour Al Otaibi said, “There has been no improvement whatsoever regarding these conditions, since the UNSC endorsed a presidential statement on October 2, 2013, and also after holding the two rounds of the Geneva II negotiations; on the contrary, figures show that the number of deaths has risen from approximately 100,000 to 136,000, that of the refugees has increased from 2.2 million to 2.5 million, the locally displaced from four million to 6.5 million, in addition to the plight of 250,000 Syrians who have been stranded in besieged regions.”

Sensing the gravity of the humanitarian tragedy suffered by the brotherly Syrian people and its impact on security and stability in Syria and the region, the State of Kuwait had responded to a request by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to host the second international conference for donors in January, the Kuwaiti envoy said.

Ambassador Al Otaibi, in his address to the council session, re-emphasised the necessity of exerting serious efforts to ensure worldwide respect for the international humanitarian and human rights laws “for the sake of banning human rights breaches particularly in armed struggles, in addition to backing international efforts aimed at bolstering the concept of safeguarding civilians in armed conflicts.”

He continued, “Civilians’ safety is primarily part of the responsibilities of the concerned state, however, in cases of grave breaches of international humanitarian law, the state is either responsible for such violations or incapable of halting them or has no desire to do so, thus the international community must play a role to help stop these violations.

He praised the international community for its success in neutralising chemical weapons in Syria, however, he went on to say that “dozens of explosives-laden barrels” continue to fall on residential regions, claiming thousands of lives.

The Kuwaiti envoy also called for capitalising on the short-time truce to deliver humanitarian supplies to the besieged residents of Homs to expand such activities and secure support to the largest number possible of civilians across Syria.

The Kuwait News Agency said that Ambassador Al Otaibi called for “activating international mechanisms to enhance accountability and criminalise internationally banned acts through international investigation panels or special courts.”

Ambassador Al Otaibi noted in this respect long-time hardships suffered by the Palestinian people due to Israel’s colonisation schemes and its siege of Gaza. He also cited “man-made catastrophes” in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

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