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Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien-Remarks at the ‘Syria – Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience’ segment of the ministerial-level plenary session of the Brussels conference on Supporting the

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

It know it pains us all to observe that the conflict in Syria has entered its seventh wretched tragic year, as the world - much of it represented in this room - has witnessed one of the largest man-made humanitarian and protection crises unfold over the battlesmashed communities and infrastructure of a once thriving lower middle income country.

With countless killed, injured and displaced, the numbers belie the true breadth and depth of the devastation. And there is simply no let-up in the fighting – these past few months have continued to be just as deadly and destructive for civilians. Indiscriminate attacks, medieval barbaric sieges, the use of chemical weapons in breach of all internationallybinding humanitarian and human rights laws and all morality and an affront to our global conscience, and forced displacements, continue to blight the future of Syria. The abuses and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law have been so pervasive that some have wondered whether Syria has become an “IHL-free war zone”. This is the context in which the people of Syria, including Palestine refugees and others – let us never forget, are trying to respond to keep each other going, and this is the context in which we, the international humanitarian community, are trying to help them. 

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
05 Apr 2017
Document type: 
Press Statement