Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Jafa’ari (centre) just before the General Assembly meeting to consider a draft resolution on his country. . 
Photo: UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz .Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Jafa’ari (centre) just before the General Assembly meeting to consider a draft resolution on his country. . Photo: UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Syrian government must stop violence

2/17/2012 // The UN General Assembly has, with an overwhelming majority, passed a resolution that condemns the continued widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities. Egypt presented the resolution to the Assembly. Norway was one of many co-sponsors.

A total of 137 countries voted in favour of the resolution, with 12 against while 17 countries abstained.

The resolution demands that the Syrian government stops all violence and protects its population, withdraws the military from cities, guarantees the right to peaceful protests and allows full access for Arab League observers.  It also calls for a UN Special Envoy to be appointed.

Syria’s UN Ambassador took the floor immediately after the resolution had been presented. He accused foreign countries of arming groups opposed to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. Earlier this week Norway’s UN Ambassador Morten Wetland addressed the UN General Assembly saying that:

“A Government which uses its military force against its own population in this manner has lost all legitimacy. Mr. Assad cannot be said to speak for the Syrian people anymore, and should step aside, so that a meaningful political transition towards democracy can start.”

The vote in the General Assembly came ten days after a similar measure was vetoed by Russia and China in the UN Security Council.


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