Syria Update: Security Council Set to Discuss New Draft Resolution Friday Amidst Continued Russian Opposition
27 January 2012
In an evening announcement made on January 26, the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations indicated that the UN Security Council will meet today (27 January) at 3 pm to discuss a new draft resolution on the situation in Syria. The draft was written by France and Britain in consultation with Morocco, Qatar (non-Council member), the United States, Germany, and Portugal. Morocco, the only Arab state on the Council, reportedly called for the meeting to be held after briefing Council members, including Russia and China, on 26 January with the new draft resolution.
According to Reuters, a vote could come on the draft resolution as early as next week. (…)
The draft resolution follows the recent Arab League plan, adopted on 22 January in Cairo, which calls on President al-Assad to immediately relinquish power to a deputy to pave the way for a peaceful transition through negotiations with the opposition, the formation of a unity government, and the holding of transparent elections with Arab and international monitors. The plan was rejected outright by the Syrian government.
The draft resolution also expresses “grave concern at the deterioration of the situation in Syria”, and:
• Condemns the continued widespread and gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities;
• Demands that the Syrian Government immediately put an end to all human rights violations and attacks against those exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, protect its population, fully comply with its obligations under applicable international law and fully implement the Human Rights Council and General Assembly resolutions;
• Demands that all parties in Syria immediately stop all violence or reprisals;
• Recalls that all those responsible for human rights violations, including acts of violence, must be held accountable.
All eyes are on the Russian delegation at the Security Council, who has stood by President Assad over the course of the eight-month uprising. (…)
(…) Russia will continue to actively promote its own draft resolution to the Security Council, which it circulated on 15 December 2011. However, according to Reuters UN reporter Louis Charbonneau, Western Council Members and the Arab League have moved beyond the Russian draft. (…)
As reports of a massacre in Homs emerged earlier today, it seems from above that this afternoon’s Security Council discussion on the new draft resolution will continue to be characterized by the rift between Russia and Western and Arab states on how to respond to the situation in Syria. As crackdown continues and the death toll soars, Council members must work to break this deadlock and move to uphold the responsibility of the international community to protect Syrian populations.
Access this post on the ICRtoP blog.