Syria Update: UN General Assembly Third Committee Passes Resolution Condemning Crackdown
22 November 2011
The Third Committee (human rights) of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted in favour of a resolution that condemned the Syrian government’s prolonged crackdown against protesters today. 122 states voted for the resolution, with 13 against and 41 abstentions. Introduced by Britain, France, and Germany, the resolution carries no legal weight, but calls in strong terms on the Syrian government to end all human rights abuses and urged Bashar al-Assad, the country’s President, to immediately implement the Arab League peace plan. On 21 November, the Syrian envoy to the UN characterized the resolution as declaring “diplomatic war” against the country.
The vote at the UNGA today was marked by strong regional support for the resolution, with Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – all co-sponsors of the resolution – voting in favour. Russia and China, who vetoed a UN Security Resolution regarding the situation in Syria on 4 October, abstained from voting, along with India and South Africa.
The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P) called the passing of the UNGA resolution “historic”, and said that it, “sends a strong message to the al-Assad regime that it cannot continue to kill its own people without fear of consequence or sanction…In supporting today’s resolution the UN General Assembly took an important step in upholding the Responsibility to Protect and in declaring that the international community will not be bystanders to ongoing crimes against humanity in Syria.”
This post will be continually updated with more statements once they become available.