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On 6 January 2023, the blog of the European Journal of International Law published a piece by Guernica 37 members Jack Sproson and Ibrahim Olabi titled: With No Judge or Jury, Who Will Decide the Fate of 4.1 million Aid-Dependent Syrians? A Comment on the Legality of UN-Coordinated Cross-Border Aid Operations in Syria. After arguing that the UN coordinated aid into Syria by the UN can be legal, the pieces concluded that:

“With no judge nor jury in this situation, the time is therefore apt to reframe cyclical renewal dialogues to acknowledge that the UNSC’s role as an emergency interlocutor is no longer necessary, and accept that the matter can revert to its default setting in the comparatively de-politicised UN Secretariat, as it was pre-resolution, using the same ‘problem-solving’ approach that led those seeking solutions in 2014 to take the unprecedented step of involving the UNSC in the first instance. The stakes associated with doing so have never been higher – 4.1M lives, and IHL as we know it, depend on it.”

The full piece is available here

In December 2022, Members of Guernica 37 and ARCS held meetings with government representatives in multiple capitals and advocacy hubs. Government representatives were consulted in New York, Berlin, Paris, London, Bern, and Ankara. Meetings were also held with representatives of the European Union in Brussels and with the UN. Multiple department representatives attended all meetings with government representatives. In each meeting, a mixture of senior policy, MENA, Syria, legal and humanitarian were present, indicating high interest especially given the short notice meeting requests during the winter break. The meetings discussed both tactical and strategic questions relating to cross border aid delivery.

Following the launch of the report and the initiative in Washington DC, Guernica members Ibrahim Olabi and Jack Sproson flew to New York once more to meet with Governments involved in the cross border matter. Together with ARCS, Guernica organised a closed round table discussion, which 8 Governments joined. The team then conducted a number of follow up bilaterals with some attendees at their Missions the following day, and met bilaterally with new missions during the journey. This paved the way to the team's trip to a number of capitals in the coming weeks.

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