Feb.22 - U.N. Security Council unanimously approves Syria aid access resolution in effort to boost humanitarian assistance. Gavino Garay reports.
The United Nations unanimously adopted a resolution on Saturday to boost humanitarian aid access in Syria. It was a rare moment of unity for the Security Council, where until now Russia and China had vetoed three resolutions that would have condemned Syria's government and threatened it with possible sanctions. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UN SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON SAYING: "This resolution should not have been necessary. Humanitarian assistance is not something to be negotiated; it is something to be allowed by virtue of international law." But Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Ja'afari blamed the humanitarian crisis in Syria terrorist groups, a term Syria has used when referring to rebels. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BASHAR JA'AFARI, SYRIA'S AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, SAYING: "Supporting Syrians in the humanitarian field, ladies and gentlemen, cannot be carried out effectively and truly unless it is also accompanied in word and deed with non-politicization of humanitarian topics and putting an end to terrorism. The activities of the armed terrorist groups including those associated with al-Qaeda are the main reason for the humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people." The resolution demands cross-border aid access, and condemns rights abuses by the Syrian government, as well as armed opposition groups. The U.N. says over 9 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance. That's nearly half the population.