“The lives of those in need should not be subjected to the tactics of geopolitical games,” Csaba Kőrösi, President of the 77th session of the General Assembly, said.
“Humanitarian action must always be guided by the principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence. As such, effective humanitarian assistance will never be held hostage by any political interest,” he added.
Two failed resolutions
The veto is a special voting power of the Permanent Member States of the Council, where if one of the five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US – casts a negative vote, the resolution or decision is automatically fail.
On July 11, a Security Council resolution to change a mechanism for the delivery of cross-border aid from Turkey to northern Syria failed after Russia vetoed the draft. Thirteen of the 15 members of the Council voted in favor and China abstained.
Also on July 11, the second resolution for a six-month extension of the mechanism also failed to be adopted because it lacked the required number of positive votes. The resolution was submitted by Russia and supported by China. Three Member States (France, UK and US) voted against and 10 abstained.
The failure to expand the mechanism has virtually halted all aid convoys, leaving more than 4.1 million people, mostly women and children, cut off from vital supplies.
The Bab al-Hawa crossing has been the backbone of relief operations in the region since 2014, handling more than 85 percent of aid deliveries.
Put needs first
Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi urged Security Council members to prioritize the needs of the affected population.
“In the Security Council, I call on you to stay alive to the facts and focus on real solutions; that it is urgent to prioritize long-term cooperation over division; and the humanitarian imperative above brinksmanship,” he said.
“Together, we have the power to make a meaningful difference. The people of Syria are counting on us to save,” concluded Mr. Kőrösi.