NEW YORK, 13th February, 2016 (WAM) — Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, has welcomed news that the members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) agreed to a cessation of hostilities in Syria.

In a statement he urged the parties to the conflict to ensure full, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access, including to besieged and hard-to-reach areas, in accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

“The people of Syria – in Aleppo, Madaya, Foah and Kefraya, Deir ez-Zor and elsewhere – need an end to the brutal violence and bombing, the sieges, denial of free movement, food and medical care,” he said, emphasising that the United Nations and its partners need safe, sustained access for humanitarian workers throughout the country.

He went on to stress that the UN remains committed and ready to deliver aid and protection for civilians in desperate need, whoever and wherever they are. “Above all we need to see meaningful action on the ground, so that Syrians and their neighbours can start to rebuild their lives and their country,” he concluded.

Top-level diplomats meeting in Munich on ending the Syrian crisis agreed to work out the terms of nationwide “cessation of hostilities” in the coming week. The International Syria Support Group is working since November to secure a broader ceasefire and Syrian political negotiations – comprises the Arab League, the European Union, the United Nations, and 17 countries including the United States and Russia.