|UN General Assembly vote on Syria(DP-News - NYT)
UN General Assembly adopted Resolution on Syria
(DP-News - agencies)
Late on Thursday, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted for a resolution backing an Arab League plan that calls for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down and strongly condemns human rights violations by Syria`s regime.
In a strongly worded resolution adopted by a 137-12 vote, the UN 193-member world body voted 137-12 on the Arab-sponsored resolution, with 17 abstentions, and though there are no vetoes in the general assembly and its resolutions are non-binding, they do reflect world opinion on major issues. UN member states demanded that Assad's government stop attacking civilian demonstrators and start pulling its troops back to barracks.
The resolution calls on Damascus "to stop all violence or reprisals immediately, in accordance with the League of Arab States initiative."
It was referring to a peace plan put forward by the pan-Arab bloc calling on Assad to hand power over to his deputy and for the formation of a unity government ahead of elections.
Russia, China and Iran opposed the largely symbolic text put forward by Arab states with Western support just days after Beijing and Moscow vetoed a similar resolution in the UN Security Council.
Russia and China, who recently vetoed a similar resolution in the security council, voted against the general assembly measure along with North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and others who heeded Syria’s appeal against the measure. But the high “Yes” vote was the strongest condemnation so far of President Bashar al- Assad`s regime.
The press reports on Friday indicated that UN General Assembly demanded Thursday an immediate halt to Syria's brutal crackdown on dissent. The resolution also called on Syrian leader to hand power to his vice-president, and immediately to stop the bloody crackdown that has killed over 5,400 people.
"Today, the U.N. General Assembly sent a clear message to the people of Syria: the world is with you," said U.S. Ambassador Susan E. Rice in a statement. "Bashar al-Assad has never been more isolated. A rapid transition to democracy in Syria has garnered the resounding support of the international community. Change must now come."
"For France, this is a new step towards the end of the martyrdom of the Syrian people," said French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe in a statement. "With our partners, we will do our utmost in all instances to make sure this resolution is fully implemented."
"This is an unambiguous message to the Syrian regime that the violence must stop, they must withdraw the armed forces from the towns and cities of Syria, they must stop the repression of their people and they must allow for the possibility of a political dialogue to start and for a political transition to democracy in Syria," said British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant. "We hope that the regime will listen to this overwhelming message from the international community today."
Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Jaafari lashed out at the vote, calling the League of Arab States "broken, both politically and morally." He added that, "If things continue in this manner ... the United Nations will collapse -- morally first and entirely second."
Asked after the vote about the possibility that Syria would implement a 24-hour ceasefire in the besieged city of Homs to let women, children and the wounded depart the city, he said, "Ceasefire? We are not in a civil war! We are not in an armed conflict!"
The resolution marks the strongest U.N. statement to date condemning al-Assad's regime. It calls on Syria to end human rights violations and attacks against civilians immediately, and condemns violence by al-Assad's forces and the opposition.
Press report said “For nearly a year, President Bashar al-Assad`s regime has denied reports that his forces are targeting civilians, saying they were fighting armed gangs and foreign fighters bent on destabilizing the government.”
“But the vast majority of accounts from within the country say that Syrian forces are slaughtering civilians as part of a crackdown on anti-government opposition calling for al-Assad's ouster.” press reports added.
In Vienna, UN Chief Mr. Ban Ki-moon demanded the Syrian regime stops using indiscriminate force against civilians caught up in fighting between government troops and al-Assad’s opponents.
“We see neighbourhoods shelled indiscriminately,” Mr. Ban told reporters.
“Hospitals used as torture centers. Children as young as 10 years old jailed and abused. We see almost certain crimes against humanity.”
It is unclear what, if any, effect the resolution will have on what many world leaders see as a relentless campaign by al-Assad's forces to stamp out opposition.
Number of Comments (2)
Apparently Russsia, China, and Iran, along with their smaller allies believe that absolute dictatorships are perfectly valid governments in the 21st century, and that slaughtering their own people to maintain power is a morally correct position. They just don't get it yet. But they will, and then perhaps there will be a chance for Peace. Already, in Libya, the rest of the world began to think together, in order to remove a blight from the earth and help people gain the chance to rule themselves.
|Cheryl J Fox
|| 2/19/2012 8:44:11 PM
Why Might We Be Surprised......
That the likes of Russia, China, Iran, Venesuela, North Korea and Cuba are are brothers and birds of a feather. All are under the thumb of a dictator....
|| 2/17/2012 8:36:03 PM