What started out as a peaceful demonstration against Assad a few years ago has since escalated into a civil war killing at least 70,000 people affirms the United Nation. The crisis has caused major concern around the globe prompting nonstop media coverage and continuous heated political debates. Islamist militants have emerged as the most potent of the anti-Assad rebels.
Today, May 15, 2013 the United Nation General Assembly will vote on a draft resolution that condemns Syrian authorities and accepts the opposition Syrian National Coalition as party to a potential political transition. According to the Jerusalem Post, “the draft resolution condemns "all violence, irrespective of where it comes from," continued escalation in the use of heavy weapons by Syrian authorities, the shelling and shooting by Syrian troops into neighboring nations and human rights abuses. It also demands that the Syrian authorities grant unfettered access to a UN team investigating allegations that chemical weapons have been used in the conflict. The draft resolution further welcomes Arab League decisions relevant to reaching a political solution, but does not reference an agreement by the league that member states have the right to provide military support to Syrians fighting Assad's troops.
Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, is opposed to the resolution, which was drafted by Qatar and other Arab nations and circulated among the 193 UN member states. Some Western diplomats said it was unlikely to win as many votes as a resolution that passed last year with 133 in favor: 12 votes against the previous Syria resolution and 31 abstentions and some countries did not participate. Russia was among those that opposed it. China, Iran, North Korea, Belarus, Cuba and other states that often criticize the West also voted against it” (REUTERS).
In response to the current crisis in Syria, the State Department announced on May 8, 2013 that the United States will provide an additional $100 million in humanitarian assistance to support those affected by the violence within Syria and the more than 1.4 million refugees across the region. This new funding is in addition to the nearly $25 million in food assistance for Syria announced by Secretary Kerry in Istanbul April 21. The United States remains the single-largest contributor of humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people, and with today’s announcement, is now providing nearly $510 million in humanitarian assistance.
The United States reaffirms our support and appreciation to those countries hosting refugees, and commends their efforts to provide protection and assistance to all who are fleeing the violence inside Syria. The United States recognizes the significant strains on local populations and the economic impacts of providing aid to refugees, and commends the hospitality of the citizens and governments who are welcoming refugees into their communities. We call on all governments to continue keeping their borders open to all who are fleeing the violence in Syria.
The $100 million will support the activities of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), both within Syria and as part of the regional refugee response in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. The funding will support: Jordan: Nearly $43 million; Lebanon:$32 million,Turkey: $9.5 million and inside Syria: nearly $16 million.
To see more of the press release click HERE