Syria: Why The Security Council Matters

Update: Take action now by urging the Russian government to join others on the UN Security Council in putting an end to the bloodshed in Syria.

The crisis in Syria has reached a pivotal point. The situation on the ground has sharply deteriorated over the last few days, prompting the Arab League to suspend its mission.

In New York, the UN Security Council will be briefed today by Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, followed by a potential vote on a new draft resolution later this week. A Syrian activist currently based in the U.S. described this new development yesterday by stating: “It has become the last chance for the Security Council to act.”

I agree that it is high time for the Council to end its silence—if demands to end the serious and widespread human rights violations are front and center of the resolution.

This should include a referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court, an imposition of an arms embargo, and an asset freeze of President Bashar al-Assad and his senior associates. Such a resolution will not immediately result in the end of the bloodshed in Syria; however, strong Security Council action this week could be seen as one of the defining moments of the uprising.

The Showdown

The fact that those in attendance at today’s Council meeting will include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe indicates that a legally binding condemnation of the grave human rights abuses is finally within reach. In total, ten countries on the Council are reportedly supportive of the draft resolution.

However, let’s be honest: the adoption of the resolution will depend on Russia, who continues to threaten to veto the resolution (again). Other countries on the Council who are concerned about the resolution are expected to follow Russia’s lead. Barbara Plett, the BBC’s UN correspondent, provides a concise summary of Russia’s position:

Keen to protect a thriving arms trade with Syria, they have complained about the resolution’s call to stop the flow of weapons to the country (although it doesn’t impose an arms embargo).

But the critical issue is the fate of Bashar al-Assad, Russia’s closest Arab ally. The Arab peace plan calls on him to delegate power to a deputy. For the Russians, this is regime change by another name.

The Syrian regime led by President Bashar al-Assad is becoming increasingly isolated internationally, with Russia being one of its last major supporters. I believe that an international condemnation of the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters in the form of a Security Council resolution will occur in only a matter of time. This week, Russia has the choice to either end its shameful support for a regime we believe is committing crimes against humanity or to remain the oppressive regime’s last collaborator.

Why It Matters

The next 24 to 48 hours may mark a pivotal moment in the uprising of the Syrian people. Most notably, a UN Security Council resolution would confront the regime with a unified international voice, making it clear that it cannot pursue its current actions without consequences. Additionally, it might give the human rights crisis in Syria a regular, prominent place on the agenda of the Security Council, making it harder for world leaders to ignore the systematic and widespread crimes.

Key Resources On The Developments At The UN

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12 thoughts on “Syria: Why The Security Council Matters

  1. I was in Syria few months ago. It's a a very queit and beatiful country. Most people in Syria are supporting Assad and they are behind him. There is no bloodshed in Syria. There are just terrorist organizations funded by the USA, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel as well as in Libya 2011. Maybe you can't see it, because Amnesty USA is controlled by the U.S. Department of State.

    STAY STRONG SYRIA!

  2. I was in Syria few months ago. It’s a a very queit and beatiful country. Most people in Syria are supporting Assad and they are behind him. There is no bloodshed in Syria. There are just terrorist organizations funded by the USA, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel as well as in Libya 2011. Maybe you can’t see it, because Amnesty USA is controlled by the U.S. Department of State.

    STAY STRONG SYRIA!

  3. MTA is right____ Assad,s army is trying to get rid of Al-Qaida armed (by Saudis, Qataris and US agents, same group which was in Libya) death squads, terrorizing the population taken as hostage._____Russia and China used their vetos to prevent a NATO destruction of the country, ripoff and privatization of its resources and massacre, torture of civilians.(like did in Libya and Yugoslavia (Serbia)_____Amnesty is a US-NED-Soros sponsored organization, just like UN, IMF, or WB.

  4. _ USSR was destroyed when Reagan financial adviser discovered how USSR finance system operated, with the help of the Saudis, kept the price of oil (main export) at an all-time low for two years and blocked the currency tranfers between the six west European banks owned by Russia, turning USSR bankrupt.___ _ Vladimir Putin stopped the destruction sending Khodorkovsky to jail preventing him from selling half of the shares of the Russian oil production to US and British oil multinationals.____So how can they trust US-NATO anymore who never respect the Geneva convention or any agreements or treaties they signed.

  5. About Syria and Lybia, Amnesty is using Desinformation lies and Propaganda like all American and now European Media do.___Same will happen soon with the coming bombings of Israel (US sponsored) on Iran. An American ship in the area will repeat what was done in Libya firing a hundred depleted uranium missiles the very first day destroying a hospital and killing the people inside and hundreds of civiliand around.____The Dictators are the unelected U.S. Military leaders.

  6. MTA is right____ Assad,s army is trying to get rid of Al-Qaida armed (by Saudis, Qataris and US agents, same group which was in Libya) death squads, terrorizing the population taken as hostage._____Russia and China used their vetos to prevent a NATO destruction of the country, ripoff and privatization of its resources and massacre, torture of civilians.(like did in Libya and Yugoslavia (Serbia)_____Amnesty is a US-NED-Soros sponsored organization, just like UN, IMF, or WB.

  7. _ USSR was destroyed when Reagan financial adviser discovered how USSR finance system operated, with the help of the Saudis, kept the price of oil (main export) at an all-time low for two years and blocked the currency tranfers between the six west European banks owned by Russia, turning USSR bankrupt.___ _ Vladimir Putin stopped the destruction sending Khodorkovsky to jail preventing him from selling half of the shares of the Russian oil production to US and British oil multinationals.____So how can they trust US-NATO anymore who never respect the Geneva convention or any agreements or treaties they signed.

  8. About Syria and Lybia, Amnesty is using Desinformation lies and Propaganda like all American and now European Media do.___Same will happen soon with the coming bombings of Israel (US sponsored) on Iran. An American ship in the area will repeat what was done in Libya firing a hundred depleted uranium missiles the very first day destroying a hospital and killing the people inside and hundreds of civiliand around.____The Dictators are the unelected U.S. Military leaders.