Campaigners lob BRICS at Syrian crisis

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are being urged to act, as the "only powerful governments left"

by The Commentator on 25 March 2013 12:44

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This year’s fifth annual Brics summit will bring together the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in Durban, South Africa, from 26-27 March. 

Campaigners and charities attempting to assist ordinary Syrians who have been affected by the ongoing civil war in the country have appealed to the bloc as "the only powerful governments left" able to compel Assad to consent to access to deliver humanitarian assistance.

This new tactic comes as the United Nations continues to fall short of a full aid intervention. Mandeep Tiwana, policy and advocacy manager at CIVICUS, said: "Syrians need food and medicine, but the UN says it needs permission from the Syrian regime to deliver aid across borders into rebel controlled areas. Assad refuses to consent to such access.

A petition on the Avaaz.org website reads: 

To the governments of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa: “As concerned citizens from around the world we call on you to stand with the people of Syria and send a clear message to President Bashar al-Assad that he should grant the UN permission to cross Syria’s borders to reach civilians in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Unimpeded humanitarian access to all parts of Syria coordinated by the UN and authorised by the government - to be delivered anytime, anywhere, and by the most effective means - is a call that no leader, indeed no human being, could in good conscience deny. We appeal to the BRICS to demonstrate their leadership and take one step to easing the horror of Syria’s worsening crisis.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently told news agency Itar-Tass that the BRICS members were working on joint declarations on the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan, Iran's nuclear programme, the situation in the Middle East and other issues.

The petition will be handed in to representatives of the BRICS countries when they meet at their annual summit in Durban, South Africa, this week.

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