Category: Turkey

UN humanitarian chief urges: ‘prevent entire generation from being lost in Syria.’

Some 13.4 million Syrians throughout the beleaguered country are in need of assistance, the UN humanitarian office said on Saturday, calling for “greater access and expanded funding”, to better help them.

Concluding a seven-day visit to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, in his first official mission in the region since assuming the function of UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths stressed that “the UN needs to be able to reach people who depend on its aid both from Turkey and from within Syria”.

Humanitarians and donors must keep Syria high on our collective agenda to prevent an entire generation being lost”, Martin Griffiths underscored.

During meetings with the Syrian Foreign Minister and his deputy, Mr. Griffiths emphasised the need to expand humanitarian access, protect civilians and help Syrians envision a future for themselves.

So far, the United Nations and its partners have received only 27 per cent of the funding needed for its 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria, which seeks $4.2 billion.

And the $5.8 billion Regional Refugee & Resilience Plan aims to help over 5.5 million Syrian refugees and host communities in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey is only 19 per cent funded, according UN News.

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UN Security Council calls for ‘immediate reversal’ of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot decision on Varosha.

The United Nations Security Council said in a statement released on Friday that settling any part of the abandoned Cypriot suburb of Varosha, “by people other than its inhabitants, is “inadmissible”. 

The presidential statement approved by all 15 Security Council members, upheld that “no actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha, that are not in accordance with its resolutions”. 

“The Security Council condemns the announcement in Cyprus by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders on 20 July 2021 on the further reopening of part of the fenced-off area of Varosha”, the statement continued. 

“The Security Council expresses its deep regret regarding these unilateral actions that run contrary to its previous resolutions and statements.” 

The statement calls for “the immediate reversal of this course of action and the reversal of all steps taken on Varosha since October 2020.” 

The statement followed a closed-door briefing earlier in the day by the outgoing UN Special Representative, Elizabeth Spehar

The Mediterranean island has been divided between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities for 47 years, and a Security Council resolution of 1964 recommended the establishment of a peacekeeping force to maintain law and order and help end inter-communal strife.  

According to news reports, on Wednesday, Greek Cypriot leaders appealed to the Council over plans by Turkish Cypriot authorities to revert a 1.35 square-mile section of Varosha, from military to civilian control, and open it for potential resettlement. 

The self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is backed by Turkey, made the initial announcement a day earlier, that part of the suburb would come under civilian control.  

On Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his deep concern over Wednesday’s announcements by Turkey and Turkish-Cypriot leaders, on re-opening Varosha, and said that the UN’s position “remains unchanged and is guided by the relevant Security Council resolutions”.  

In a statement issued by his Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq, Mr. Guterres called on all sides “to refrain from any unhelpful actions and to engage in dialogue to bring peace and prosperity to the island through a comprehensive settlement”. 

“The Secretary-General has repeatedly called on all parties to refrain from unilateral actions that provoke tensions and may compromise the ongoing efforts to seek common ground between the parties towards a lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue”. 

The UN Security Council statement concluded with a reaffirmation of its commitment “to an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement, in accordance with the wishes of the Cypriot people, and based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation, with political equality”, according UN News.

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