Security Council Establishes UN Supervision Mission in Syria, with 300 Observers to Monitor Cessation of Violence, Implementation of Special Envoy’s Plan
Security Council Establishes UN Supervision Mission in Syria, with 300 Observers to Monitor Cessation of Violence, Implementation of Special Envoy’s Plan
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6756th Meeting (AM)
Security Council Establishes UN Supervision Mission in Syria, with 300 Observers
to Monitor Cessation of Violence, Implementation of Special Envoy’s Plan
Resolution 2043 (2012) Adopted Unanimously; Observers to Be Deployed
Expeditiously, Subject to Assessment of Relevant Developments on the Ground
Noting that the cessation of armed violence in Syria was “clearly incomplete”, and concerned about its recent escalation, the Security Council today beefed up the United Nations monitoring team of unarmed observers to that country authorized last weekend, subject to the Secretary-General’s assessment of relevant developments on the ground.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2043 (2012), submitted to the 15-member body by the Russian Federation, the Council established, for an initial 90-day period, a supervision mission, to be known as UNSMIS, comprising an initial and expeditious deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers, including an appropriate civilian component and air transportation assets, to monitor a cessation of armed violence “in all its forms by all parties” as well as the full implementation of the United Nations Joint Special Envoy’s six-point proposal to end the conflict.
The Council called on the Syrian Government to ensure the mission’s effective operation by, among others, facilitating its expeditious and unhindered deployment and ensuring its full freedom of movement. It underlined the need for the Government and the United Nations to agree rapidly on the air transportation assets for UNSMIS, and to allow it unobstructed communication, including with private individuals throughout Syria, without retaliation against any of them.
In a further provision, the Secretary-General was asked to report to the Council on implementation of the resolution every 15 days and to submit, as necessary, proposals for possible adjustments to the mission’s mandate. The Council expressed its intention to assess the text’s implementation and to “consider further steps as appropriate”.
Around the table, Council members expressed support for the resolution, particularly for the unified backing it, and the one adopted on the situation last Saturday, had received. The representative of the Russian Federation said the resolution was of fundamental importance; it established clear parameters for the cessation of violence and the need to cooperate with the observers, and he hoped to secure unswerving respect by all parties for its provisions. Any deviation was unacceptable; the Libyan model should always remain in the past, he asserted.
France’s representative said his delegation had supported the resolution “with determination”, but it had “no illusions”. Deployment of the first observers had not changed the Syrian regime’s behaviour. Thus, voting in favour of today’s text was “taking a risk” — because the Council considered that the Annan plan was a chance for peace, a “last chance”, which should not be passed up.
“We can no longer wait; more and more civilians are dying each day,” he said. The observers must now be deployed and be able to act without obstacles; the violence must cease, and the Annan plan must be implemented. If not, “we will have to examine other options, including the possible use of sanctions”.
Similarly, said the representative of the United Kingdom, the Syrian regime, had attempted only to “hide the truth about its shameful acts of brutality and destruction”, since the adoption of resolution 2042 (2012) last week. The mission and the Annan proposal represented the “last opportunity for the Syrian regime to reverse course”. Any failure to meet its commitments must be met by “robust sanctions by this Council”.
“Let me be plain,” said the United States’ representative in her national capacity, “no one should assume that the United States will agree to resume this mission at the end of 90 days if there is not a cessation of violence, full freedom of movement for United Nations personnel and considerable progress on the ground.” Absent that, “then we must all conclude that this mission has run its course”.
The United States strongly supported full implementation of the six-point plan, she said. However, “Let there be no doubt. We, our allies, and others in this body are planning for those actions that will be required by all of us if the Assad regime persists in the slaughter of the Syrian people,” she said.
Syria’s representative held, however, that his country had lived up to its responsibility under the six-point plan. Dispatching the United Nations monitors was a basic Syrian demand, and his Government had a “vested interest” in their progress, if they fulfilled their work on the basis of impartiality, professionalism and objectivity. Armed terrorists had tried to undermine the Annan plan, and they had escalated their terrorist acts and killing of civilians.
Thus, he said, the Syrian Government’s support for the Annan mission was not enough to bring about its success. Other Arab and international organizations must resist from encouraging armed groups in continuing their terrorist acts. There was talk of sanctions. “We reject any interference in our internal affairs. We are determined to protect the sovereignty of our homeland,” he said, adding that Syrians knew well that the forces that bore grudges against their country were targeting all Syrians, in the interest of protecting Israel and others.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Germany, Colombia, Morocco, Portugal, Azerbaijan, South Africa, China, Guatemala, India, Pakistan, and Togo.
The meeting was called to order at 11:15 a.m. and adjourned at 12:23 p.m.
The Security Council convened a meeting today to consider the situation in the Middle East, particularly in Syria.
Adoption of Resolution
The Council then unanimously adopted resolution 2043 (2012), which reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its Resolution 2042 (2012), as well as its presidential statements of 3 August 2011, 21 March 2012 and 5 April 2012, and also recalling all relevant resolutions of the General Assembly,
“Reaffirming its support to the Joint Special Envoy for the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan, and his work, following General Assembly resolution A/RES/66/253 of 16 February 2012 and relevant resolutions of the League of Arab States,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter,
“Condemning the widespread violations of human rights by the Syrian authorities, as well as any human rights abuses by armed groups, recalling that those responsible shall be held accountable, and expressing its profound regret at the death of many thousands of people in Syria,
“Expressing its appreciation of the significant efforts that have been made by the States bordering Syria to assist Syrians who have fled across Syria’s borders as a consequence of the violence, and requesting UNHCR to provide assistance as requested by member states receiving these displaced persons,
“Expressing also its appreciation of the humanitarian assistance that has been provided to Syria by other States,
“Noting the Syrian government’s commitment on 25 March 2012 to implement the six-point proposal of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, and to implement urgently and visibly its commitments, as it agreed to do in its communication to the Envoy of 1 April 2012, to (a) cease troop movements towards population centres, (b) cease all use of heavy weapons in such centres, and (c) begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres, and to implement these in their entirety by no later than 10 April 2012, and noting also the Syrian opposition’s expressed commitment to respect the cessation of violence, provided the government does so,
“Expressing concern over ongoing violence and reports of casualties which have escalated again in recent days, following the Envoy’s assessment of 12 April 2012 that the parties appeared to be observing a cessation of fire and that the Syrian government had started to implement its commitments, and noting that the cessation of armed violence in all its forms is therefore clearly incomplete,
“Supporting the Envoy’s call for an immediate and visible implementation by the Syrian government of all elements of the Envoy’s six-point proposal in their entirety to achieve a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties,
“Taking note of the assessment by the Secretary-General that a United Nations monitoring mission deployed quickly when the conditions are conducive with a clear mandate, the requisite capacities, and the appropriate conditions of operation would greatly contribute to observing and upholding the commitment of the parties to a cessation of armed violence in all its forms and to supporting the implementation of the six-point plan,
“Noting the 19 April 2012 Preliminary Understanding (S/2012/250) agreed between the Syrian Arab Republic and the United Nations which provides a basis for a protocol governing the Advance Team and, upon its deployment, the UN supervision mechanism,
“Having considered the Secretary-General’s letter addressed to the President of Security Council(S/2012/238),
“1. Reaffirms its full support for and calls for the urgent, comprehensive, and immediate implementation of all elements of the Envoy’s six-point proposal as annexed to resolution 2042 (2012) aimed at bringing an immediate end to all violence and human rights violations, securing humanitarian access and facilitating a Syrian-led political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations, ethnicities or beliefs, including through commencing a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition;
“2. Calls upon the Syrian government to implement visibly its commitments in their entirety, as it agreed to do in the Preliminary Understanding and as stipulated in resolution 2042 (2012), to (a) cease troop movements towards population centres, (b) cease all use of heavy weapons in such centres, (c) complete pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres, as well as to withdraw its troops and heavy weapons from population centres to their barracks or temporary deployment places to facilitate a sustained cessation of violence;
“3. Calls upon all parties in Syria, including the opposition, immediately to cease all armed violence in all its forms;
“4. Calls upon the Syrian armed opposition groups and relevant elements to respect relevant provisions of the Preliminary Understanding;
“5. Decides to establish for an initial period of 90 days a United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) under the command of a Chief Military Observer, comprising an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers as well as an appropriate civilian component as required by the Mission to fulfil its mandate, and decides further that the Mission shall be deployed expeditiously subject to assessment by the Secretary-General of relevant developments on the ground, including the consolidation of the cessation of violence;
“6. Decides also that the mandate of the Mission shall be to monitor a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties and to monitor and support the full implementation of the Envoy’s six-point proposal;
“7. Requests that the Secretary-General and the Syrian government without delay conclude a Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA), taking into consideration General Assembly resolution 58/82 on the scope of legal protection under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, and notes the agreement between the Syrian government and the United Nations that, pending the conclusion of such an agreement, the model SOFA agreement of 9 October 1990 (A/45/594) shall apply provisionally;
“8. Calls upon the Syrian government to ensure the effective operation of UNSMIS by: facilitating the expeditious and unhindered deployment of its personnel and capabilities as required to fulfil its mandate; ensuring its full, unimpeded, and immediate freedom of movement and access as necessary to fulfil its mandate, underlining in this regard the need for the Syrian government and the United Nations to agree rapidly on appropriate air transportation assets for UNSMIS; allowing its unobstructed communications; and allowing it to freely and privately communicate with individuals throughout Syria without retaliation against any person as a result of interaction with UNSMIS;
“9. Calls upon the parties to guarantee the safety of UNSMIS personnel without prejudice to its freedom of movement and access, and stresses that the primary responsibility in this regard lies with the Syrian authorities;
“10. Requests the Secretary-General to report immediately to the Security Council any obstructions to the effective operation of UNSMIS by any party;
“11. Reiterates its call for the Syrian authorities to allow immediate, full and unimpeded access of humanitarian personnel to all populations in need of assistance, in accordance with international law and guiding principles of humanitarian assistance and calls upon all parties in Syria, in particular the Syrian authorities, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and relevant humanitarian organizations to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance;
“12. Invites all Member States to consider making appropriate contributions to UNSMIS as requested by the Secretary-General;
“13. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution within 15 days of its adoption and every 15 days thereafter, and also to submit, as necessary, to the Council proposals for possible adjustments to the UNSMIS mandate;
“14. Expresses its intention to assess the implementation of this resolution and to consider further steps as appropriate;
“15. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
Speaking after the unanimous adoption of the resolution, VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation), noting that his delegation had submitted the resolution, said the Council’s swift action was to fully establish the observer mission, in order to have a stabilizing impact on the United Nations presence in Syria. The resolution was of fundamental importance to advancing a peaceful settlement, enshrined in the Council’s consensus support for Kofi Annan’s six-point plan. He hoped to secure the unswerving respect of all parties for the resolution’s provisions. Any deviation was unacceptable; the Libyan model should always remain in the past.
He said the resolution established clear parameters for all for the cessation of violence and the need to cooperate with the observers. In order to ensure its comprehensive implementation, it was very important for external players involved in the issue to act very responsibly. That would go a long way towards ensuring that all Syrian parties had an inclusive political process aimed at establishing a democratic pluralistic system. It was only through that process that Syrians, themselves, could create a future for their country. He called on all parties to refrain from violence and fully uphold the Annan plan. He had put forward a call to the States “with impact on the opposition” to encourage it to do the same. The resolution sent an important international legal signal — only the Council had the prerogative to take such a decision involving a regional crisis, including the Syrian crisis.
GÉRARD ARAUD (France) welcomed the unanimous adoption of resolution 2043 (2012). After so many months of blockage, Syria must hear the international community’s clear message, which was unanimous; it must also understand its commitments to end the intolerable situation. “After months of blind and bloody repression, a reinforced mission was absolutely indispensable and its deployment should be done as soon as possible.” Adoption of today’s text should not lead to forgetting that the situation on the ground was still worrisome, because of Damascus’ refusal to meet its commitments. The Syrian authorities had not implemented Annan’s plan, to which it said it was committed. Instead, they had continued to bombard population centres with heavy artillery. Deployment of the first observers had not changed the regime’s behaviour; throughout the country, the regime continued as it had done for the last 13 months and the humanitarian situation was even worse than before. Indeed, the Syrian regime was violating the decisions of the Security Council and expressing its contempt towards it and the international community.
In that context, he said, voting in its favour was “taking a risk” — because the Council considered that the Annan plan was a chance for peace, a “last chance”, and it should not be passed up. That was why France had supported the text, and it had done so “with determination, but with no illusions”. The mission should be deployed as soon as possible, with significant numbers, and be restricted in its movement. Any obstruction should be reported to the Council. Similarly, the Syrian authorities must ensure that communication was not impeded, and in that respect he stressed that the use of air transport was “absolutely indispensable” to the mission’s success. Only under the above conditions would the observers be able to do their work. In sending out the mission, the objective was not only to end the repression, but also to ensure that Syria moved towards a democratic system. “We can no longer wait; more and more civilians are dying each day,” he said. The observers must now be deployed and be able to act without obstacles; the violence must cease, and the Annan plan must be implemented. If not, “we will have to examine other options, including the possible use of sanctions”.
PETER WITTIG (Germany) supported the resolution because it stood behind the Special Envoy’s efforts to achieve a sustainable cessation of violence. Germany shared the assessment of the Secretary-General and the Special Envoy that deployment of observers could positively influence dynamics on the ground. Today’s decision was not without risks. The Syrian Government continued to shell the city of Homs. It had not withdrawn troops or tanks to barracks. Violence continued unabated, as did arbitrary detentions, torture and attacks on children and minorities. The Government continued to plead for more time, despite repeated calls for it to implement the six-point plan. The Council’s work had only begun, now. Observers must be able to operate freely. “The new United Nations mission must not in any circumstances become a pawn in tactical and political games,” he said.
Now was the time for Syrian authorities to prove that they would live up to their responsibility, he said, adding that “we must remain vigilant”. Too many commitments by Damascus in the past had not been kept. He asked the Secretary-General to assess the situation on the ground carefully before deploying personnel. “It will be our task to act appropriately,” he said, stressing that “observers cannot be a substitute for a political solution”. He welcomed that the United Nations Supervisions Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) would comprise civilian personnel with the relevant expertise on human rights and gender. Urgent action was required by Damascus. Action on the ground must be consistent with the stated commitments to carry out the six-point plan. There were still thousands of detainees and no substantive progress achieved on humanitarian access. Clearly the elements of the six-point plan were closely interlinked. Today, the Council had made an important step on the six elements. It must work as quickly as possible towards a transition process. Accountability was crucial. There could be no return to the status quo.
NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia) endorsed the second statement of the Council, which showed its firm determination to deal with the Syrian crisis. It was clear that violence had not ceased. Attacks continued that violated the 12 April ceasefire. That was why he supported UNSMIS. He hoped that its broad presence on the ground would make it possible to consistently monitor conditions in line with the six-point plan. The Secretary-General had been asked to inform the Council immediately of any obstacles to UNSMIS doing its job. The six-point plan was an ideal one to ensure access to humanitarian actors and to provide a transition to a broad-based political process. It was urgent that all parties effectively meet all conditions, in order to implement all commitments.
MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco) said the ongoing violence, while it had decreased, had shown the lack of full commitment by all parties to their responsibilities. Now, the Council was calling for a full cessation of “all forms” of violence. Reviewing the outcome of the meeting this week of the League of Arab States, he said it had demanded that the Syrian Government and all other parties to the conflict commit to a full cessation of violence and close cooperation with Mr. Annan and fully implement the six-point plan. The League favoured the accelerated deployment of the observer mission, with the assurance of the conditions and means necessary for implementation of its mandate.
He said the Council today had responded to those calls, and he sincerely hoped that conditions would be met to allow for the rapid deployment of the mission, as he was convinced that that would help monitor the commitments of all the parties towards the aims. At the same time, the resolution had reaffirmed the Council’s strong commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity. It had sent a very clear message to those who had any doubt about the world body’s full commitment to the complete cessation of violence and implementation of the six-point plan, so work could begin immediately towards fulfilling the aspirations of the Syrian citizens. The past few weeks had shown the importance of Council unity.
MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom), noting that it had been one week since the Council had authorized the deployment of an advance team of 30 unarmed monitors to Syria, said the Council was clear about the regime’s obligations to, among other things, cease troop movements on the population centres and the use of heavy weapons. It was also unambiguous about the need for the advance team to operate under the best conditions, and it was committed to deploying a larger mission only after a sustained cessation of violence. Unfortunately, since the adoption of resolution 2042 (2012), the regime had done little to demonstrate that it was taking those steps and it had responded with the use of brutal, heavy weapons — shelling Homs and other cities and attempting to “hide the truth about its shameful acts of brutality and destruction”. Nevertheless, the Secretary-General recommended a larger team, in the view that such a mission could foster a shift of the dynamics on the ground.
He welcomed the unanimous adoption today of 2043, as his country believed that the expanded mission could have a positive impact on the ground, both in terms of saving lives and ushering in a Syrian-led political transition. The text had come on the “back of the agreement” reached between the Syrian Government and the United Nations, which must be fully implemented. Movement of the larger mission must be unrestricted, and air assets, as called for in the text, should be able to monitor not only the cessation of violence, but full implementation of the six-point proposal. It also included a strong civilian component, with a range of skills. The text was a measure of the depth of concern of the international community and a sign that it was ready to deploy civilian personnel into that dangerous environment.
Indeed, he stressed, the mission and Annan proposal represented the “last opportunity for the Syrian regime to reverse course”. Its continued failure to meet its commitments, or any attempt to hinder the work of the mission, must be met by “robust sanctions by this Council”.
JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL (Portugal) said today’s resolution was the Council’s unified and swift reaction to the Special Envoy’s recommendations. Today another clear message was sent. The Council had expressed its grave concern over the escalation of violence and casualties in recent days. The cessation of violence remained incomplete and the widespread violation of human rights continued unabated. Accountability must be guaranteed. The humanitarian situation was worsening by the day. He called on all parties, particularly the Syrian authorities, to cooperate fully with humanitarian organizations. He acknowledged the good efforts of Syria’s neighbours to receive Syrian refugees. The Syrian authorities must, once and for all, match words with commitments. He expressed hope that the deployment of UNSMIS would indeed help change dynamics on the ground and would lead to an inclusive democratic process in Syria. For that to happen, the Syrian Government must implement immediately the six-point proposal, including the full withdrawal of troops to their barracks. The proposal represented “the last hope of avoiding an all out civil war”. He called on all parties to seize the current opportunity. He urged all parties to cooperate fully with the Special Envoy.
AGSHIN MEHDIYEV (Azerbaijan) had been consistent in its support for efforts to end the violence and to find a solution by peaceful means. Like other Council members, he expressed full support to the Secretary-General and his Special Envoy. Everyone wanted a peaceful solution. There was no alternative to the mission of the Special Envoy, who should enjoy unwavering support. Today’s resolution was another milestone towards addressing the Syrian crisis through peaceful means. The mission would be instrumental in working towards the cessation of violence. Azerbaijan voted in favour of the resolution in the hope that its adoption would help end the violence, advance dialogue and achieve peace on the ground.
BASO SANGQU (South Africa) welcomed the mission’s rapid deployment. Despite some challenges, the advance team had enjoyed freedom of movement and had not faced military confrontation. It had been able to visit key hotspots of conflict, including Homs, and its deployment had already proven to be a calming influence. The decrease in violence should be sustained. The supervisory mission would be important in sustaining peace, so he welcomed today’s resolution and urged all sides to ensure the Mission’s effective operation. Equally important was for the entire international community to give the resolution and the Annan plan a chance to succeed, while upholding Syria’s sovereignty and the United Nations Charter.
LI BAODONG (China), noting that he had co-sponsored today’s resolution, said his country had always maintained support for Syria’s independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity, and full respect for the will of its people. China was committed to peaceful dialogue aimed at a just, peaceful, and proper settlement of the crisis. Annan’s good offices was the practical “way out” and had made “positive and important” progress. He urged all parties — the Syrian Government and the opposition — to fully cooperate with it and create the conditions needed to launch a Syrian-led inclusive political process. Full deployment of the mission was significant in ensuring its full implementation, and he hoped the mission would respect Syria’s sovereignty and dignity, and act in strict conformity with the Council, while actively advancing a sustained cessation of the violence. He called for the Syrian Government’s cooperation.
GERT ROSENTHAL (Guatemala) said eight days ago Guatemala had voted in favour of Council resolution 2042 (2012). While its provisions had not been fully complied with, he voted in favour of today’s text in order to respond to the recommendations of the Secretary-General and his Special Envoy and in order to be consistent with the position it had taken since events first began in Syria. While he shared the Council member’s scepticism over the Syrian Government’s commitment to comply with the Special Envoy’s six-point proposal, it was best to give that Government the benefit of the doubt and have confidence in the ability of United Nations monitors on the ground to make a real difference and find a way out of the crisis. The first task was to put an immediate end to the violence. But, a lasting solution involved negotiations between all parts of Syrian society to find a peaceful agreement of inclusive democratization and respect for human rights. “This is a noble objective, and we believe that it is worthwhile to provide an opportunity for its fulfilment; perhaps the last opportunity to avoid much worse outcomes,” he said.
HARDEEP SINGH PURI (India) said today’s resolution was a significant step in the Council’s support for Special Envoy Annan. He noted with satisfaction that Mr. Annan’s efforts had resulted in an improvement of the situation in Syria. He stressed the need to sustain gains made, thus far. That should be facilitated by expedited deployment of the observer mission. Today’s resolution was also an appeal for all parties to pull back from the violence. He had voted in favour of the resolution with the expectation that the mission would implement its mandate impartially, objectively and fairly and that it would result in a Syrian-led process that would implement the political aspirations of the Syrian people. He expressed hope that all parties, including the opposition, would abide by its terms. It was also necessary that all countries extend their full support to the Special Envoy and to UNSMIS and refrain from any action that would cause any further bloodshed. Doing so would ensure an expeditious resolution to the crisis and prevent a spillover of the conflict to other borders.
RAZA BASHIR TARAR (Pakistan) welcomed the unanimous adoption of resolution 2042 (2012) and earlier agreements of the Council, including today’s, which was another significant step towards resolving the crisis, as well as another reaffirmation of the Council’s united backing of Mr. Annan’s efforts. Continued condemnation by all Council members was “highly appreciated”. By authorizing the mission, he hoped for a change in the dynamics on the ground that would result in a complete cessation of violence and, thus, lead to achieving the Council’s overall objective of a peaceful solution, with full respect for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Government must fulfil its responsibilities and commitments, and the mission must fulfil its work with the utmost neutrality. Any steps that could undermine it, or the efforts of the Special Envoy, must be avoided. In light of Pakistan’s support for all efforts towards fulfilling the common objective, it had co-sponsored today’s text.
KODJO MENAN (Togo) said that, like other Council members, he welcomed today’s adoption, which reflected Council unity. By voting in favour, Togo had reaffirmed its full support for the mission and efforts by the Secretary-General for all those stakeholders striving for a swift return to peace in Syria. He was convinced that a peaceful and prosperous Syria was first and foremost in the hands of Syrians. That was why Togo called on all Syrians to strive for a better application of today’s resolution.
SUSAN RICE (United States) said she was sober about the risks, given the Assad regime’s long record of basic disregard for humanity. Deployment of 300 or even 3,000 observers could not stop the Assad regime from its murderous acts. Only extensive external pressure could bring an end to them. The Syrian Government said it had welcomed observers on the ground, as they would be impartial. Even more so, the Syrian people expected and deserved that the Council stand behind today’s resolution and impose consequences, if the Syrian regime failed to honour its commitments. The regime had unleashed yet another wave of horrific violence against its own people. The use of shelling and heavy weaponry, particularly in Homs, had reached levels that surpassed those registered before the ceasefire. The status of thousands of detainees remained clear. There had been little progress on the issue of humanitarian access. An estimated 1 million civilians were still in urgent need of humanitarian aid. The Council had called on the Syrian Government to take concrete action. The United States’ patience was exhausted.
“Let me be plain. No one should assume that the United States will agree to resume this mission at the end of 90 days if there is not a cessation of violence, full freedom of movement for United Nations personnel and considerable progress on the ground,” she said. Absent that “then we must all conclude that this mission has run its course”. She expressed gratitude for the work of the monitors for embarking on this unprecedented and risky mission. They were going to be responsible for security and would be deployed in the midst of protestors desperate for protection that observers were not mandated to provide. That would give rise to expectations that they were not prepared to meet. All experiences in United Nations peacekeeping over the past six decades showed that there must be a peace to keep. The Syrian opposition said that they wanted the United Nations and hoped that it would have a restraining effect on the Syrian Government, enabling them to act and speak freely. If that did not happen, then the regime must be held accountable. The United States strongly supported full implementation of the six-point plan. “Let there be no doubt. We, our allies, and others in this body are planning for those actions that will be required by all of us if the Assad regime persists in the slaughter of the Syrian people,” she said.
BASHAR JA'AFARI (Syria) said some who had made statements calling on the Syrian Government to scrupulously implement the resolution had themselves begun to violate its provisions. The resolution made no mention of the word “regime”; it only talked about the “Syrian Government”. Mr. Jafa’ari said he met with the Secretary-General yesterday and appealed to him to continue his good offices and work with the Syrian leadership towards a national political solution. That was the crux of the Annan plan. Since the beginning of the crisis, the Syrian Government had been open to any sincere and impartial efforts to help end it, while preserving sovereignty. Syria had demonstrated considerable commitment to, and cooperation with, the Special Envoy’s efforts to achieve a peaceful political solution. The Syrian Government had lived up to its responsibility in the six-point plan. It had continued to inform Mr. Annan daily about the situation, including on the number of detainees. Today, the Syrian Government had informed Mr. Annan of its implementation of article 2 of his plan, as well as all subsidiary paragraphs of items A, B and C. Syria’s national forces would continue to carry out their duties. They would remain prepared to respond to terrorists, if the latter continued to attack public and private property. They would defend Syria’s borders against any aggression, including attacks on airports, roads, oil refineries and other infrastructure.
Dispatching of the United Nations monitors was a basic Syrian demand, he said. His Government was ready to sign the protocol regulating their deployment, as it had a “vested interest” in their progress. Those monitors must fulfil their work on the basis of impartiality, professionalism and objectivity. Armed terrorists groups had tried to undermine the Annan plan, and they had escalated their terrorist acts and killing of civilians. The Syrian Government had provided the Secretary-General and his Special Envoy with information documenting the attacks by armed groups. Such violations totalled 593 as of 20 April. But, there was dubious disregard for the actions of those groups. That was designed to make the Annan plan fail, hold the Syrian Government responsible for its failure and use that as an excuse to bring in outside forces, as was done by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Libya.
He expressed hope that the Special Envoy would address the humanitarian crisis in a comprehensive manner. The Syrian Government’s support for the Annan mission was not enough to bring about its success. Other Arab and international organizations must resist from encouraging armed groups in continuing their terrorist acts. Some Governments had predicted the Annan plan would fail. Qatar’s Government said the plan’s chances of success did not exceed 3 per cent. Alternative plans were proposed during recent conferences in Istanbul and in Tunis. There was talk of tightening sanctions.
“We reject any interference in our internal affairs. We are determined to protect the sovereignty of our homeland,” he said, adding that Syrians knew well that the forces that bore grudges against their country were targeting all Syrians, in the interest of protecting Israel and others. Replying to the statement made by Germany’s representative that his country was keen on protecting minorities in Syria, Mr. Jafa’ari said there was no minority or majority in Syria. Rather, there was one people that took pride in its culture.
* *** *