Negotiating Aid and Diplomacy: Syria's cross border aid at the UN Security Council


The people of northern Syria were recently dealt a terrible blow. 

At the UN Security Council, on 11 July, permanent member Russia vetoed the extension of UN deliveries through the Bab al-Hawa crossing. 

It had served as a vital lifeline for the over 4 million people who live in the north west, and are in desperate need of help. 

Following the Russian veto, the Assad regime stepped in and said that they would grant permission to the UN for the delivery of aid. 

This offer was quickly and firmly rejected by opposing members of the Security Council, who are all to aware of the Assad regime’s history of weaponising aid. 

This week on The New Arab Voice, we examine the humanitarian needs in northern Syria, why the cross border aid is so vital, what alternatives might be available, and the terms of the Assad regime’s offer and why it is so unacceptable. 

Also we explore the diplomacy of the United Nations Security Council. Why is the council making decisions about aid? How is Russia using the issue of aid at the UN? How does the veto work, and should it be abandoned? And is it time for reforms at the UN?

To guide us through aid efforts and issues in northern Syria, we’re joined by Natasha Hall (@NatashaHallDC), senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (@CSISMidEast).

And to untangle UN diplomacy, we speak with Richard Gowan (@RichardGowan1), UN Director for the International Crisis Group (@CrisisGroup).

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This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge. 

Theme music by Omar al-Fil. 

Other music by Blue Dot Sessions. 

To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.

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