U.N. Security Council agrees on aid resolution for Syria

BY Kayla Ruble  February 22, 2014 at 3:03 PM EST

In a unanimous vote on Saturday, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution aimed at delivering humanitarian aid to Syria.

The 15-member council passed the resolution which demands President Bashar al-Assad’s government and opposition forces allow country-wide access to provide aid for the people of Syria.

Addressing the council after the vote, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned both sides of the Syrian conflict for “besieging civilians as a tactic of war.”

The Secretary-General said half of Syria’s population was in need of assistance and that people were “under siege” in both government and opposition-controlled areas of the country. The Security Council also condemned both sides for rights abuses.

“This resolution should not have been necessary. Humanitarian assistance is not something to be negotiated; it is something to be allowed by virtue of international law,” he said.

This is the first time during the nearly three-year conflict in Syria that the Security Council has come to a unanimous agreement for a resolution. The resolution does not outline an immediate path to punish parties who violate the stipulations.