UN General Assembly passes resolution condemning Syria violence

The UN General Assembly voted on Feb. 16 to condemn Syria through a non-binding resolution. The resolution supports a plan advanced by the Arab League that aims to bring the situation in Syria to a close as quickly as possible by encouraging President Bashar al-Assad to step down. There were 12 votes against the resolution including Russia, China, Iran and Bolivia.

By other terms of the text adopted today, the Assembly expressed its full support for the Arab League’s decision to facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, pluralistic political system, including through a “serious political dialogue between the [Syrian Government] and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition.” Reaffirming its strong commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, it further reaffirmed that all Member States “should refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.”

Amendments by Russia that “proposed to place reasonable demands on opposition forces to disassociate themselves from armed groups and to demand that those groups themselves stop their attacks” were rejected. In response to the resolution, the representative for Syria called the resolution and the Arab League’s actions a “Trojan horse,” and argued that the Arab League is now controlled primarily by Western oil companies. He also stated that his country is responding to calls for reform, specifically noting a recently announced referendum for a new constitution.

From Jurist, Feb. 17. Used with permission.

See our last post on the Arab revolutions.