United for Syria: Stop one year of bloodshed
Open letter to the members of the UN Security Council
12 March 2012
On 12 March, the Financial Times published an open letter to the members of the UN Security Council, calling for an end to the bloodshed in Syria and unity between Council members. The letter included 47 signatories, among them the former Foreign Ministers of Spain, Jordan and the United Kingdom.
To the Members of the UN Security Council,
One year after the start of the Syrian uprising, we are saddened to see divisions in the Security Council prevent a unified and proactive international response to the crisis. Responsibility for the current bloodshed ultimately rests with those in Syria ordering, permitting, or themselves committing, horrific crimes. However, splits among the international community have provided the Assad government with a license to kill. This license must be withdrawn.
The Assad government’s continued use of lethal force against its own people is among the worst cases of deliberate violence against a civilian population that we have seen in recent years. There can be no excuse for such actions under any circumstances. (…)
(…) We fear that the current impasse in international strategy is leading to an escalation in initiatives, such as arming the regime and the opposition, which could prolong the conflict and the suffering.
To break the stalemate, we must see Russia working alongside other international partners. (…) We warmly commend the appointment of Mr Annan as the joint UN-Arab League Special Envoy for Syria. He must receive strong, unanimous backing from across the international community (…) While we understand that there is no easy way out of this crisis, the moral obligation to bridge the current impasse lies with the members of the UN Security Council. (…)
(…) We urge members of the Security Council to unite and pass a Resolution by consensus:
1. Calling on the Syrian authorities to cease all unlawful attacks against its population immediately, remove abusive military and security forces from cities and inhabited areas, guarantee peaceful protests do not come under attack and release all political prisoners and those held under arbitrary arrest from the beginning of the uprising to the present day. (…)
2. Urging the Syrian government to facilitate the delivery of independent and impartial emergency aid, ensure the evacuation of injured people in places of conflict, and call for effective access for humanitarian organizations. (…)
(…) On the anniversary of Syria’s uprising, we remember the thousands of lives lost in their pursuit of a more just and hopeful future. It is the responsibility of us all to prevent the potential deaths of thousands more men, women and children who so desperately need our help.
Yours sincerely (…)
To see the list of signatories and full letter, see here.