NEW YORK, DECEMBER 19 – Italy welcomed on Monday the unanimously adopted UN Security Council resolution urging immediate deployment of U.N. monitors to former rebel-held eastern Aleppo. The document calls for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon “to take urgent steps to make arrangements, including security arrangements in consultation with interested parties, to allow the observation by the United Nations and other relevant institutions of the well-being of civilians inside the eastern districts of the city of Aleppo.” Ban should report on the implemenation of the resolution within five days.
In a statement published in Geneva the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Misura welcomed the approval of the resolution as “the beginning of the restoration of the unity of the Security Council. Along with the wider UN system, the Office of the Special Envoy will be fully engaged in promoting the operational implementation of the resolution on the ground”. Convinced that “it is vital to build on this initial momentum with further steps”, de Mistura announced that “it is the intention of the United Nations to convene formal intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva on 8 February 2017.
The French Ambssador Francois Delattre said that the goal of the French-Russian compromise resolution adopted Monday is to avoid a repetition of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslims — “to avoid new mass atrocities by the forces on the ground and the militias in particular.”
The UN said that 100 staffers – mostly Syrian nationals – are already in place and could start to work as soon as possible. The resolution also asks for UN and other institutions to carry out “adequate, neutral monitoring and direct observation on evacuations from the eastern districts”.
The text is a modified version of the original French draft with Russian amendments.
Moscow had threatened to veto the first draft, insisting on the need for prior approval by the Syrian government in order to send observers. In the new document an agreement was reached on the phrase “in consultation with interested parties”, which therefore provides for, in some way, the involvement of Damascus. (@OnuItalia)