The Ancient City Of Aleppo

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The ancient city of Aleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. But the name Aleppo now evokes apocalyptic scenes of destruction and despair, a city reduced to rubble, a child wiping blood from his face. Aleppo has become a byword for human misery. As bombardment intensifies, hundreds have been killed in this past week. Food has run out, and no hospitals are functioning. The situation is catastrophic. Syria 's Bana falls silent... But now the seven-year-old tweeter from Aleppo appears to have posted once more, to the relief of her 227,000 followers. Yet early last week, China and Russia vetoed a draft resolution at the UN Security Council that called for a seven-day ceasefire – a space to negotiate an end to the fighting and to bring in essential medicines, water and food. Tens of thousands have fled eastern Aleppo in recent days, while diplomats met in Paris to call for an end to the violence, as air strikes continue to hit civilians in what US Secretary of State John Kerry called "crimes against humanity". This internationally condemned veto was a stark demonstration of how the UN system has failed to stop these devastating conflicts – the reason for which it was established post World War II. All United Nations member states, including Australia, have a responsibility to unite for peace through the General Assembly in the case of the Security Council deadlock. Aid agencies such as World Vision are working at Aleppo 's outskirts, but we 've been unable to get into the city for months. People risk their lives to flee. Bodies in the street can be seen with suitcases beside them. This is the deadliest conflict the 21st century has seen, but our horror amounts to handwringing unless real and urgent a... ... middle of paper ... ...ied at night and he worried about keeping them safe. When we returned to help, the family was gone: probably pushed back into Syria. These seismic changes are not only destabilising the region but our world. Before their city was destroyed, citizens of Aleppo had lives much like ours. They worked, their children went to well-run schools and at night families gathered for their evening meal and to watch TV. Well-informed, connected, they can see the choices that we are making. Would the international community be so complacent if it was Australians, Canadians or even Russians? As Australians, we must pressure our leaders to urgently take measures to protect civilians caught up in this crisis, to work constructively in the United Nations to resolve conflicts, and to increase aid. We can 't let the scale of the catastrophe paralyse us; every action makes a difference.

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