|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6598th Meeting (PM)
Security Council, in Statement, Condemns Syrian Authorities for ‘Widespread
Violations of Human Rights, Use of Force against Civilians’
Disassociating Itself from Consensus, Lebanon Says Text Does Not Help
Address Situation in Syria, Stresses ‘Interconnectedness’ between Two Nations
Expressing “profound regret” over the many hundreds of deaths in Syria and condemning what it called widespread violations of human rights against civilians by Syrian authorities, the Security Council today called for an immediate end to violence in the Middle East country and urged all sides to act with utmost restraint.
Through a presidential statement read out by Hardeep Singh Puri of India, which holds the body’s August presidency, the Council also called for both parties to refrain from reprisals, “including attacks against State institutions”.
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, it called on the authorities there to respect their human rights obligations — holding accountable those responsible for the violence — to allow “expeditious and unhindered” access for humanitarian workers and to cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
It also called on Syrian authorities to follow through on commitments they had made to reform, stressing that the only solution to the crisis was through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process that addressed the legitimate concerns of the population and allowed the exercise of the freedoms of expression and assembly.
The Council requested an update on the situation in Syria within seven days, from the Secretary-General.
Following the reading of that statement, Caroline Ziade of Lebanon disassociated her country from it, saying the text did not help to address the current situation in Syria. She stressed the interconnectedness of the two countries and said that the Lebanese people stood in support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and the unity and safety of its people. She expressed regret over the loss of life and gave condolences to victims, and she hoped that reforms announced by the Syrian authorities would lead to progress and prosperity.
The meeting was opened at 3:09 p.m. and closed at 3:14 p.m.
The full text of the presidential statement contained in document S/PRST/2011/16 reads as follows:
“The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the deteriorating situation in Syria, and expresses profound regret at the death of many hundreds of people.
“The Security Council condemns the widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities.
“The Security Council calls 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.
“The Security Council calls on the Syrian authorities to fully respect human rights and to comply with their obligations under applicable international law. Those responsible for the violence should be held accountable.
“The Security Council notes the announced commitments by the Syrian authorities to reform, and regrets the lack of progress in implementation, and calls upon the Syrian Government to implement its commitments.
“The Security Council reaffirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Syria. It stresses that the only solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process, with the aim of effectively addressing the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the population which will allow the full exercise of fundamental freedoms for its entire population, including that of expression and peaceful assembly.
“The Security Council calls on the Syrian authorities to alleviate the humanitarian situation in crisis areas by ceasing the use of force against affected towns, to allow expeditious and unhindered access for international humanitarian agencies and workers, and cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to update the Security Council on the situation in Syria within 7 days.”
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