14 November 2022
Guernica 37 Chambers (“G37”) is pleased to announce its legal initiative impacting 4.1M people:
‘Cross Border Aid into Syria is Legal’
This announcement comes following the conclusion of an event organised by the American Relief Coalition for Syria (“ARCS”) in Washington DC to launch their unprecedented report: ‘2014 is not 2022: Why the Continuation of UN-Coordinated Cross-Border aid into Syria Absent a UN Security Council Resolution is Lawful’, drafted by Guernica 37 Members Jack Sproson and Ibrahim Olabi.
The legal initiative, led by G37 and made possible with the support of Syrian NGOs listed below, seeks to:
Create, consolidate, and amplify resources of well-established legal arguments made by eminent legal figures, compiled, and applied by G37 to the Syrian context as it stands in 2022, aiming to assist benevolent actors driven to avert a humanitarian disaster impacting 4.1M people in Syria.
Over the past 6-months, G37 has been building legal material on this vital issue with prominent scholars, including former senior UN legal and policy adviser within the Office of Legal Affairs. In coordination with ARCS, they have also engaged with more than 12 governments, UN agencies, and non-governmental organisations between New York and several Capitals.
A dedicated website for the legal effort can be found at:
The legal position advanced is that:
Whilst the UNSC mandate may have given a clearer legal basis for doing so in the fractured and fast-moving Syrian conflict in 2014, given the new facts of the conflict and how cross-border aid is currently being implemented, it is now, in 2022, just one legal basis upon which UN Agencies may continue to provide cross-border aid in Syria in a manner that conforms fully with Syria’s rights to sovereignty and territorial integrity under international law.
In the coming weeks and months, G37 will be publishing further legal material on this issue, including letters and interviews with eminent experts. We will also be working closely with relevant governmental and non-governmental actors, domestically, regionally, and internationally.
While G37 leads independently on the legal question, supported by NGOs that have no cross-border operations in Syria, we will be closely coordinating with humanitarian NGOs, coordinated by ARCS, as they lead through their campaign “Needs not Vetoes” on the humanitarian and policy implications of these legal findings. Their work can be accessed here: https://arcsyria.org/needs-not-vetoes