U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release: February 22, 2014
Statement by Secretary Kerry
UN Security Council Resolution on Syria
This could be a hinge-point in the tortured three years of a Syria crisis bereft of hope. This overdue resolution, if fully implemented, will ensure humanitarian aid reaches people in Syria whose very lives depend on it. This is all about saving innocent lives and relieving the burden on Syria’s neighboring countries.
After three years of slaughter and savagery, people rightfully will question whether progress is possible, but this resolution holds the promise of something real. The proof is on paper. By naming the areas in Syria where sieges must be lifted, demanding that hospitals, schools and other places where civilians gather must be demilitarized, insisting that aid must be allowed to cross borders and follow the most direct routes to the suffering, and by underscoring that attacks against civilians, including barrel bombing, must end, the international community hasn’t minced words. This is a resolution of concrete steps to answer the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.
But these steps are only first steps. Just as shipments of humanitarian aid mean little without access to beleaguered areas, resolutions demanding access mean little without full implementation. The test is whether the words of the Security Council are matched with the life-saving actions the Syrian people so desperately and urgently need.