Failing Syria

Assessing the impact of UN Security Council Resolutions in protecting and assisting civilians in Syria

Publication date: 12 March 2015
Author: Martin Hartberg, Dominic Bowen and Daniel Gorevan

This report reviews what real effects the UNSC Resolutions have had on protection of civilians, humanitarian access, increases in international aid contributions, and political solutions. It finds that, despite the three resolutions, violence in Syria has intensified, killings have increased, humanitarian access has diminished, and the humanitarian response remains severely and chronically underfunded.

The unanimous adoption of UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2139 at the end of February 2014 brought with it much needed hope for people in Syria and across the Middle East. In it, the UNSC called for an urgent increase in access for humanitarian aid in Syria and demanded that all parties immediately cease attacks against civilians, end arbitrary detention, kidnapping and torture, and lift sieges of populated areas. In July and December 2014, the UNSC adopted two additional resolutions – 2165 and 2191 – which authorized UN aid operations to enter Syria from neighbouring countries without requiring the consent of the Syrian government.