UN General Assembly to vote Thursday on
February 15, 2012
NEW YORK, — The United Nations General
Assembly will vote Thursday on a new resolution
calling on Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to put a
stop to deadly attacks on civilians, diplomats said.
The resolution drawn up by Saudi Arabia and Qatar,
which was given to member nations on Tuesday, also
expresses support for the Arab League's plan to end
the 11-month crackdown in Syria and calls for the
naming of a UN special envoy.
The move comes after Russia and China vetoed a
second Security Council resolution on the crisis in
Syria on February 4, because they said it was
Russia and China are expected to oppose the new text
but no one can veto resolutions in the 193-nation
General Assembly, though they carry less weight.
Diplomats said the measure was almost sure to pass.
The vote is expected on Thursday at 3:00 pm (2000
"We'll see if this new text earns more or less than
the 133 votes given to the first resolution" adopted
on December 19, one diplomat said.
That measure denounced human rights violations in
Syria, where activists say more than 6,000 have died
since protests against Assad's government erupted
"That will be the measure of success, but this time,
the content is more political in nature," the
diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
An Egyptian diplomat said his country, which
presides over the Arab group in the Assembly, wanted
to see a vote on the resolution "as soon as
The draft resolution does not refer to an Arab
League request for a joint peacekeeping mission with
the United Nations, which has been met in some
Western capitals with caution.
The Security Council has yet to adopt any
resolutions on the situation in Syria. Russia and
China also vetoed a draft in October.
The General Assembly draft is similar to the one
blocked in the Council.
The text "fully supports" the Arab League's plan "to
facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a
democratic, plural political system," without
however mentioning Assad by name or the plan for him
to hand over power.
It "calls upon the Syrian government to immediately
put an end to all human rights violations and
attacks against civilians" and "condemns all
violence, irrespective of where it comes from."
The text calls on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
to back the Arab League by appointing a special
envoy to Syria,www.ekurd.net
and "stresses the need to resolve the current
political crisis in Syria peacefully."
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay
told the General Assembly on Monday that "crimes
against humanity are likely to have been committed"
in Syria since March 2011.
"Independent, credible and corroborated accounts
indicate that these abuses have taken place as part
of a widespread and systematic attack on civilians,"
Pillay said. Damascus on Tuesday flatly rejected her
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