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17 Oct 2017 description
report European Union

On Monday 16 October 2017 the Council adopted the EU Annual Report on Human Rights And Democracy in the World in 2016.

2016 was a challenging year for human rights and democracy, with a shrinking space for civil society and complex humanitarian and political crises emerging. In this context, the European Union showed leadership and remained strongly committed to promote and protect human rights and democracy across the world.

26 Nov 2013 description

In Syria, government forces fully control the town of Qara after almost a week of heavy fighting which caused over 15,000 Syrian refugees to cross into Lebanon. Meanwhile, the UN stated that it has brokered an agreement allowing for the Government of Syria and opposition negotiators to meet for peace talks in Geneva on January 22. The opposition reaffirmed the conditions of its participation: the release of prisoners, humanitarian assistance for besieged towns, and the exclusion of President Assad from the new transitional government.

12 Nov 2013 description

Snapshot 5 – 12 November

In Syria, the opposition agreed to participate in international peace talks in Geneva under the condition that President al-Assad is excluded from any transitional government, which constitutes a major obstacle to the initiation of the process as the Government stated it will not enter discussion if this demand is upheld. The peace dialogue has been repeatedly postponed and will not go ahead as planned in November. To date, the overall number of Syrian refugees is over 2.2 million and the number of people in need in the country stands at 9.3 million.

05 Nov 2013 description

Snapshot 29 October – 5 November

In Syria, the opposition remains divided over their participation to proposed peace talks in Geneva, with a decision being expected by 9 November. In Damascus, the Government repeated that it will not enter discussions if President al-Assad is forced to resign. While the overall number of Syrian refugees went over 2.2 million, revised estimates indicated that the number of people in need in Syria has increased from 6.8 million in April to 9.3 million in late October. An estimated 6.5 million are internally displaced.

29 Oct 2013 description

In Syria, fighting has intensified in October with the Government gaining control of strategic areas around Damascus and south of Aleppo. Meanwhile, while the number of Syrian refugees has reached almost 2.2 million people, parties to the conflict and international actors are increasingly focused on the Geneva II conference scheduled to take place in November after having been postponed several times.

22 Oct 2013 description

Snapshot 15 – 22 October

In Syria, conflict is of high intensity in Rural Damascus, Dar’a, Aleppo, Idleb, and Homs, and Damascus city has repeatedly been under fire from opposition mortar rounds. Clashes between rival opposition groups have spread, culminating in a bloody battle over the control of some northern Aleppo neighbourhoods. While Government forces have made gains in Rural Damascus, the opposition has won ground in Dar’a, with both sides renewing efforts to gain a firm upper hand before the proposed Geneva II peace talks in November.

15 Oct 2013 description

Snapshot 08 – 15 October

In Syria, heavy fighting is ongoing in Rural Damascus, Dar’a, Aleppo, Idleb and Homs, with government forces making gains in Rural Damascus while the opposition has won ground in Dar’a. Despite the call of al-Qaeda’s leader for opposition fighters to unite, inter-group fighting has escalated in Aleppo over control for neighbourhoods. Meanwhile, the Syrian National Council announced that it did not intend to participate in the proposed Geneva II peace talks.

08 Oct 2013 description

In Syria, heavy fighting along the border with Jordan in the southern province of Dar’a is on-going. After a week-long battle in Aleppo, the Government army regained control of the strategic town of Khanasser which is located on a key supply route between central Syria and Aleppo. Meanwhile, ground fighting is ongoing across Syria, with clashes extending to the previously relatively stable governorate of Tartous.

30 Sep 2013 description

In Syria, heavy fighting continues between the Government and opposition groups as well as infighting within the opposition. Against this background, the UN Security Council endorsed the Russia-US agreement on the elimination of Syria’s chemical stockpile. There are now over 2.1 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. As of 27 September, heavy shelling is preventing an estimated 70,000 Syrian refugees from crossing into Jordan, leading them to face severe food insecurity as they remain stranded on the border.

16 Sep 2013 description

Snapshot 09 – 16 September

In Syria, heavy fighting continues, with air-strikes on opposition controlled areas in Damascus and on-going offensives in Aleppo, Rural Damascus, Idleb, Homs and Al-Hasakeh. Meanwhile, after three days of talks in Geneva, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reached an agreement on a disarmament proposal under which Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons are to be eliminated by mid-2014. The Syrian Minister for Information has indicated that Syria will abide by the terms set out in the plan.

02 Sep 2013 description

In Syria, intensive fighting continued in Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Rural Damascus and Homs. Intensive clashes which ignited at the start of the month between Government and opposition groups in the governorate of Lattakia appeared however to have ceased. At the start of the week, the US warned that a military strike against Syria was imminent, following the alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus on 21 August. By the end of the week, President Obama indicated that he would seek congressional approval of the Congress before undertaking such an action.

26 Aug 2013 description

In Syria, fighting continued in Aleppo, Al-Hasakeh, Dar’a, Damascus, Deir-ez-Zor, Hama, Homs, Idleb, Rural Damascus and Quneitra. A large-scale chemical weapons attack in Ghouta killed hundreds of people, according to opposition groups that blamed the Government on 21 August. After some delay, Damascus allowed UN inspectors to visit the site of the alleged chemical attack while denying being behind the assault. Meanwhile, over 1.9 million Syrians have been registered with UNHCR or are awaiting registration in neighboring countries.

19 Aug 2013 description

Snapshot 12 – 19 August

In Syria, fighting between governmental forces and opposition groups has been concentrated in Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Lattakia and Rural Damascus this week. Meanwhile, infighting is ongoing within the opposition. As during previous weeks, FSA forces have clashed with Islamist opposition groups on multiple occasions while Kurdish groups continued to fight with Islamist groups in the north of the country. The mass influx of Syrian refugees to neighbouring countries is ongoing. As of 19 August, over 1.9 million Syrians had fled the country.

27 Jun 2009 description

Foreword: A year of challenges

It is my pleasure to present to you the 2008 Annual Report for the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

For the millions of people affected by natural disasters and conflict worldwide, 2008 was a year of enormous challenges. More than 211 million people were affected by natural disasters, with more than 238,000 killed and US$200 billion in damages, making 2008 one of the most devastating years in terms of human and material losses.