UN Security Council condemns use of force
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
United Nations, Aug 4: In its first substantive action on Syria’s five-month-old uprising, the UN Security Council on Wednesday condemned human rights violations and use of force against civilians by Syrian authorities.
In a rare but not unprecedented move, Syria’s neighbor Lebanon, where Damascus’ influence is strong, disassociated itself from a formal statement agreed by the other 14 members of the council.
A Lebanese envoy said the Western-drafted statement would not help the situation. Statements are meant to be unanimous, meaning Lebanon could have blocked it, but by simply disassociating itself Beirut allowed the statement to pass.
The statement, read out to a council meeting by Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, this month’s president of the body, “condemns widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities.”
The document, agreed after three days of hard bargaining instead of a full council resolution that the West would have preferred, also urges Damascus to fully respect human rights and comply with its obligations under international law.
The council called for “an immediate end to all violence and urges all sides to act with utmost restraint, and to refrain from reprisals, including attacks against state institutions.”
A resolution on Syria drafted by West European countries had been languishing in the Security Council for two months, blocked by opposition from Russia, China and several nonaligned countries.
Russia, a long-standing ally of Damascus, had argued that it did not want a repeat of a March 17 council resolution on Libya that was cited by Western countries as justification for air strikes on the forces of leader Muammar Gaddafi. Moscow said that was an abuse of the terms of the resolution.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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