World remains divided on Syria as UNSC fails to pass resolution again

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-7-20 14:02:20

The world seems to be still clogged up in their divide on how to solve the chronic and tumult crisis in Syria as a UN draft resolution was killed again on Thursday.

Russia and China on Thursday, for the third time, vetoed a Western-proposed draft resolution, which threatens non-military sanctions by quoting Chapter VII of the UN Charter if the Syrian government fails to pull out troops and heavy weapons from populated areas.

The two countries explained after the vote that the resolution was "biased" and "seriously problematic," and went against the consensus that was reached by the Action Group members at a meeting in Geneva late last month.

China's permanent representative to the UN Li Baodong said on Thursday the resolution "would not help resolve the Syrian issue, but instead would only derail the issue from the track of political settlement...undermine regional peace and stability, and ultimately impair the interests of the people in Syria and the region at large."

He said UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan's mediation work is "an important and realistic way" to achieve for the political solution to the Syrian issue, yet the vetoed text has seriously disrupted Annan's efforts.

Li slammed the draft's sponsoring countries for being too rigid and arrogant to listen to other nations' reasonable concerns, and revise the document.

China has all along been trying to play a "positive and constructive" part on the Syrian crisis in terms of supporting a smooth extension of the mandate of USIS (the UN Supervision Mission in Syria), and Annan's mediation efforts.

Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin also believed that resolution has targeted "exclusively at the Syrian government, counter the spirit of Geneva's document and does not reflect the reality in the country today."

Churkin noted Moscow has also drafted a resolution to bring the US members together, back Annan's work and to extend the mandate of USIS.

"We believe that the continued confrontation in the Security Council to be useless and counterproductive," said Churkin, adding that for this reason Russia would not submit its own draft for a vote.

Churkin also suggested the Council adopt a brief, depoliticized resolution on a technical extension of USIS' mandate for a specific period of time with a view to "preserving the useful potential" of the mission.

Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN, told the US that it "utterly failed" on Syria.

"We will intensify our work with a diverse range of partners outside the Security Council to bring pressure to bear on Assad regime and to deliver assistance to those in need," she said.

British foreign secretary William Hague on Thursday warned of increasing violence in Syria after the draft resolution was vetoed, saying the situation on the ground is "desperately serious" and "getting worse by the day."

"What is happening in Syria is a tragedy for its entire people and a threat to international peace and security," Hague said.

Also on Thursday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that he is disappointed at the US's failure to adopt the resolution.

It said that the vote was disappointing as it comes at a time when more resolve and pressure were needed to achieve the goals endorsed by the Council, of a full cessation of violence to protect civilians and of facilitating a Syrian-led political transition leading to a democratic political system.

"The hour is grave. The international community has a collective responsibility to the Syrian people," said the statement.

The statement also noted that the secretary-general, together with the the international envoy Kofi Annan and the UN as a whole, will spare no efforts in the search to end the violence and human rights violations, and to bring about a peaceful and democratic transition headed by the Syrians.

"The secretary-general reiterates his urgent call upon all sides to cease violence in all its forms, and move toward a peaceful, Syrian-led political transition," it added.

Annan on Thursday also expressed his disappointment over the Security Council's failure to reach a new agreement on Syria.

His spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi said the the envoy is disappointed that at this critical stage the US could not unite and take the strong and concerted action he had urged and hoped for.

"He believes that the voice of the Council is much more powerful when its members act as one," Fawzi said.

Posted in: Mid-East

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