The UN Security Council called on all parties in Syria to allow access for humanitarian assistance and condemned violence in a non-binding presidential statement adopted unanimously Wednesday, dpa reported.
The statement, which is the first such document produced by the council condemning the more than two-year-long humanitarian crisis in the country, outlines practical steps to help aid operations on the ground.
"The Security Council calls on all parties to respect the UN guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance while stressing the importance of such assistance being delivered on the basis of need, devoid of any political prejudices and aims," the statement said.
In the document, the council condemned all violations of international human rights law, sexual violence against women and violence against children, and called on all parties to cease the militarization of civilian areas, including hospitals, schools and water stations.
The five permanent members of the council, which all have veto power, were in a deadlock for months over Syria, with Russia blocking statements even on humanitarian issues.
Australian Ambassador Gary Quinlan, who held the rotating Security Council presidency last month, said that last week's resolution on Syria's chemical weapons signaled a unity in the council that opened the way for a statement like the one on the dire humanitarian situation.
"It has always been the case that disunity in the council has prevented effective humanitarian action operations on the ground in Syria as are needed," Quinlan said. "We now need to get down and do what we can to assist humanitarian agencies."
While the presidential statement is not a binding document, meaning actors in Syria will not be punished for failing to secure humanitarian access, UN human rights chief Valerie Amos said she has pressed the council to turn the statement into a binding resolution soon.
The statement also includes UN estimates that 100,000 people have been killed and "several millions" of Syrians have been displaced in the conflict. The latter figure was at first disputed by Russia, however, the country eventually agreed to include it.
Meanwhile, inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were spending their first full day in Syria where they will be implementing a plan to dismantle the country's chemical weapons production sites by November 1.
Syria's chemical arsenal is to be completely eliminated by mid-2014.
The OPCW's task is to be carried out under a US-Russian disarmament plan backed by a UN Security Council resolution, which warns of punitive measures if there is any unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons, or if they are used again.
An activist watchdog also reported that al-Qaeda-linked fighters advanced Wednesday towards Syria's border crossing with Turkey,
Fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an offshoot of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, were reported to be advancing in clashes with the Northern Storm Brigade, a more moderate rebel group that ISIL recently drove out of the nearby town of Azaz, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Hundreds of Islamists are believed to have been drawn from abroad and engaged in Syria's 30-month conflict, raising concerns about radicals' growing role in the country.
Follow us on Twitter @TRENDNewsAgency