16 September 2016, Brussels – Joint statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Humanitarian aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides on Syria
The agreement of the co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group, reinstating the Cessation of Hostilities, has brought significant reduction of violence. This is good news.
It is now crucial to implement the agreement in full. The immediate priority is the lifting of all sieges and enabling sustained, country-wide humanitarian access to those in need.
As the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura noted yesterday, three days have passed without the shattered city of Aleppo having seen a single aid convoy arriving. Precious time is lost for the people that desperately need assistance.
The United Nations has done its job. The aid convoys stand ready. We call upon the Syrian authorities to give them the necessary green light to deliver the aid.
We also call upon all parties to the conflict to allow humanitarian organisations to do their job in line with international humanitarian principles and standards. They cannot be part of any military strategy. They are serving a strictly humanitarian purpose and hence must be protected.
In this context, we recall the special status of the Castello Road as outlined in the Cessation of Hostilities agreement and in line with UNSCR 2165. This special status needs to be respected by all parties to ensure the UN can safely deliver the much-needed relief to the Syrian people.
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