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Implementation of General Assembly resolution 66/253 B on the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic - Report of the Secretary-General (A/66/889)

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Sixty-sixth session
Agenda item 34
Prevention of armed conflict

I. Introduction

  1. The present report is submitted in compliance with General Assembly resolution 66/253 B of 3 August 2012, in which the Secretary-General was requested to report to the Assembly, within 15 days, on the implementation of the resolution. The report provides an update on the implementation of the political, security, humanitarian and human rights aspects of the resolution during the period from 3 to 17 August.

  2. The overall situation in the Syrian Arab Republic continued to deteriorate during the reporting period, with the most intense fighting seen to date taking place in Aleppo. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and elements of the armed opposition continued to engage in violent confrontation. The Government remained convinced that it would be able to succeed militarily against the opposition and refused to engage in any political dialogue or move forward with the promised implementation of the six-point plan unless the opposition lay down arms. The armed opposition was equally convinced that its military efforts would succeed in toppling the leadership of the country and refused to accept the Government’s preconditions for dialogue. Temporary, localized reductions in troop strengths were seen in some areas although, in others, the conflict intensified. Armed opposition elements launched offensives in Aleppo and Damascus, while government forces maintained their use of heavy weapons in and around population centres and significantly increased the use of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft in their operations.

  3. The humanitarian situation remained dire and continued to deteriorate as fighting in and around urban centres increased. The estimated number of internally displaced persons surpassed 1 million. As at 17 August, more than 170,000 Syrians had sought refuge across international borders. Such levels of internal and international displacement, against a backdrop of destruction of civilian infrastructure and residences in areas of origin, posed significant problems for many communities across the country. Both Government and opposition groups continued to commit gross human rights violations.

  4. International diplomatic efforts continued to lack unity and cohesion, despite some attempts to address the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic over the past few weeks. The Government of the Republic of Iran held a meeting of 30 nations on 9 August, and Saudi Arabia hosted a summit meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on 14 and 15 August.