The UN Security Council: All States Must Share the Burden of Hosting Syria’s Refugees

In its unanimous Resolution 2165 (2014) of 14 July 2014 concerning the situation in Syria, the UN Security Council decided to overcome the Syrian government’s refusal to allow humanitarian aid into Syria, stating that

“United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners are authorized to use routes across conflict lines and the border crossings … in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance, including medical and surgical supplies, reaches people in need throughout Syria through the most direct routes, with notification to the Syrian authorities”

The preamble includes a significant “note” of “the United Nations Secretary-General’s view that arbitrarily withholding consent for the opening of all relevant border crossings is a violation of international humanitarian law and an act of non-compliance with resolution 2139 (2014).”

Another important aspect of the Resolution is the call on all Member States to support those states that host the Syrian refugees to enable them to cope with the growing humanitarian needs, “based on burden-sharing principles.”

Although not explicitly based on Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the new resolution underscores “that Member States are obligated under Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations to accept and carry out the Council’s decisions.”