UNITED NATIONS, AFP, 25th February 2018 - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres today welcomed the Security Council's demand for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria and said it must be 'immediately' implemented.
With Russia's backing, the council voted unanimously to demand the truce 'without delay' as Syrian war planes pounded the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta.
'The secretary-general stresses his expectation that the resolution will be immediately implemented and sustained, particularly to ensure the immediate, safe, unimpeded and sustained delivery of humanitarian aid and services, the evacuation of the critically sick and wounded and the alleviation of the suffering of the Syrian people,' UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
Guterres reminded all sides of their 'absolute obligation' to protect civilians, adding that 'efforts to combat terrorism do not supersede these obligations.
'The long-delayed vote at the council came as the death toll from seven days of bombardment of Eastern Ghouta rose to more than 500.