“We should all be saddened, outraged, and more determined than ever to hold Russia and China accountable as an accomplice to Assad’s reign of death and destruction.”
Re-posted from the Canada Free Press By Joseph A. Klein, CFP United Nations Columnist —— Bio and Archives—July 11, 2020
This past week, Russia and China vetoed United Nations Security Council draft resolutions that would have authorized the renewal of a cross-border mechanism enabling the UN and its partners to deliver vital humanitarian aid into Syria via the country’s border with Turkey. The 13 other members of the Security Council voted for the draft resolutions. The draft resolutions were offered as a compromise to address certain concerns raised by Russia, but Russia and China vetoed them anyway in order to protect President Bashar al-Assad’s murderous Syrian regime.
“Russia and China have decided that millions of Syrian lives are an insignificant cost of their partnership with the murderous Assad regime”
The UN’s Under-Secretary-General Mark Lowcock noted in his remarks before the Security Council earlier this month that cross-border assistance into northwest Syria provides a critical lifeline for 2.8 million of the most vulnerable people in Syria. He warned of more suffering and deaths if the Security Council did not take appropriate action and re-authorize the UN’s cross-border operations. But Russia and China ignored the warning. They continued their years-long pattern of vetoes protecting the Assad regime. For all intents and purposes, Russia and China cold-bloodedly told the Syrian people to drop dead.
“Russia and China have decided that millions of Syrian lives are an insignificant cost of their partnership with the murderous Assad regime,” said U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft. “This breathtaking callousness and dishonesty is (sic) now an established pattern, and all UN Member States need to take note.”
Russia has blood on its hands. It has aided Assad’s Syrian regime in conducting merciless attacks on the Syrian civilian population, on schools and on medical facilities, worsening an already dire humanitarian crisis. Russia presented its own propaganda-filled draft resolution, which would have done nothing meaningful to ensure the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian relief into Syria.
A United Nations-mandated Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic was assigned the task of assessing the impact on Syrian civilians from the Syrian regime’s military campaign to recapture Idlib and parts of western Aleppo. The Commission reportedly found that civilians in Syria suffered loss of life and damage to vital civilian infrastructure resulting from indiscriminate aerial bombardments and ground shelling by Syrian government forces alongside the Russian Aerospace Forces.
China’s Communist dictatorship falsely portrays itself as committed to multilateralism
Noting the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on top of the ravages of war, Hanny Megally, a member of the UN Commission of Inquiry, said, “Now more than ever, civilians need sustained and unfettered access to humanitarian assistance which must neither be politicized by Member States nor instrumentalized by parties to the conflict. Pandemics know no borders, neither should life-saving aid.” China and Russia think otherwise. They prefer to play geopolitics with the lives of innocent civilians, including women and children.
China’s Communist dictatorship falsely portrays itself as committed to multilateralism. China showed its true colors, however, when it went along along with Russia’s obstruction of good faith attempts under UN auspices to renew the Security Council’s authorization of the cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism. China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun made the astounding claim that “China attaches great importance to the humanitarian situation in Syria and supports the international community and United Nations agencies in stepping up humanitarian relief for the Syrian people.” China’s rationale for vetoing the draft resolutions, which would have permitted unimpeded delivery of such humanitarian relief for the Syrian people, was its opposition to sanctions that have been imposed on the Syrian regime as punishment for its murderous attacks on civilians. Zhang Jun blamed the humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people on the sanctions, rather than on the massacres conducted by the Assad regime and its Russian enablers.
Ambassador Kraft spelled out what is at stake: “We should all be saddened, outraged, and more determined than ever to hold Russia and China accountable as an accomplice to Assad’s reign of death and destruction.”