The UN Secretariat denies the existence of a special directive that prohibits its agencies from taking part in the economic recovery of Syria, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.
"There was no ‘secret directive,’ issued by the Department of Political Affairs or any other UN entity," Dujarric said. "There are internal UN policies and guidelines, formulated through consultative processes and shared within the UN system to ensure support and assistance is provided to those in need in all areas of Syria in an equitable and non-discriminatory manner with a needs-based approach upholding neutrality and impartiality."
"A durable and lasting solution to the conflict in Syria can only be achieved on the basis of political process and the UN continues its efforts to advance the political process," the spokesperson added.
Dujarric also said the international organization "continuously discusses priorities and approaches to the Syrian conflict to respond to the evolving realities."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier said that the UN Secretariat had sent out a secret directive, which prohibits UN structures from participating in projects aimed at recovering Syria’s economy before a political transition in the country is finished.
Lavrov said on Monday he had discussed this matter with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and asked him "why such questions are becoming a subject of some secret internal directives of the UN Secretariat and why the Security Council, which directly handles Syrian regulation, was not informed of it, and why such decisions are made without an open and objective analysis of the situation on the ground." Russia’s top diplomat added that he expects the UN head to sort out the matter.
"The United Nations system was created on the basis of principles of the UN Charter and respect for the equality of all states," Lavrov said. "With hope I am calling on our Western partners to get back to these principles and refrain from attempts at using international organizations inconspicuously.".