Syria: Armed Conflict

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 13th November 2015.

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Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he plans to take to use the UK's position on the UN Security Council to help facilitate diplomatic negotiations on protecting civilians in Syria.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Protection of civilians in Syria, as well as those who have been forced to flee the country, is a priority for the UK. In the Security Council we have co-sponsored a number of humanitarian resolutions that call for an end to indiscriminate attacks on civilians, including the use of barrel bombs, starvation as a method of warfare and obstructing the flow of humanitarian aid. Specifically, the UK played a key role in negotiating Resolution 2191, which has allowed the UN and its partners to deliver aid across Syria’s borders to people who were previously denied access, including food for 2.1 million people and medical supplies for 2.5 million people. The UK is the second largest bilateral contributor of humanitarian funding, providing over £1.1 billion to those most in need in Syria and neighbouring countries – our largest ever response to a crisis. The long term protection of civilians requires an end to the conflict in Syria and a political settlement based upon the principles of the Geneva Communiqué. We will continue to pursue this objective with vigour, including through the new political process which began in Vienna on 30 October.

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