UNITED NATIONS - After adopting a hard-fought, Russian-backed resolution to rid Syria of chemical weapons, the UN Security Council is now turning its attention to the country's dire humanitarian crisis, putting to the test its fragile consensus on the conflict.
The Security Council is considering a statement to try to boost aid access in Syria by urging Syrian authorities to allow cross-border deliveries from neighboring countries and asking parties to the conflict to hold humanitarian pauses in the fighting.
Amid a new-found unity of the 15 members, which overcame a long diplomatic deadlock between Russia and Western powers on Friday to pass a resolution on Syria's chemical arms, Australia and Luxembourg circulated a draft statement on the aid crisis.
More than 2 millions Syrians, mostly women and children, have fled during the 2-1/2-year-old civil war, which the United Nations says has killed more than 100,000 people. Millions more inside Syria are in desperate need of help but aid has slowed to a trickle due to excessive red tape and violence.