The situation for people trapped in eastern Aleppo remains of the gravest concern. As I told the UN Security Council on Monday, we demand safe, regular and sustained access to the quarter of a million people trapped behind the front lines. All options must be considered.
I am aware of the measures proposed today by the Russian Federation to set up humanitarian corridors.
It is critical that the security of any such corridors is guaranteed by all parties and that people are able to use them voluntarily. No one can be forced to flee, by any specific route or to any particular location. Protection must be guaranteed for all according to the principles of neutrality
Our proposal for 48-hour humanitarian pauses to enable cross-line and cross-border operations is what we as humanitarians require. This is to ensure that we are able to see for ourselves the dire situation of the people, assess their needs, adjust to logistical constraints and assist people where they are now with their life-saving and protection needs.
In any event, all parties are required and obliged, under long-established and accepted International Humanitarian Law, to allow safe, unimpeded, impartial and immediate humanitarian access for civilians to leave and for aid to come in.
New York, 28 July 2016