Thursday, February 16, 2012

The U.N. General Assembly passes a nonbinding resolution endorsing Arab League plan for Syria's president to step down

The United Nations General Assembly passed Thursday by an overwhelming margin a nonbinding resolution endorsing the Arab League plan for the Syrian president to step down. The vote was 137 in favor and 12 against, with 17 abstentions.

"Today, the U.N. General Assembly sent a clear message to the people of Syria: the world is with you," said U.S. Ambassador Susan E. Rice in a statement. "Bashar al-Assad has never been more isolated. A rapid transition to democracy in Syria has garnered the resounding support of the international community. Change must now come."

The symbolic resolution that condemns President Bashar al-Assad's violent crackdown in Syria was introduced into the assembly after China and Russia blocked the Security Council from approving enforceable measures aimed at curbing the violence. China and Russia were among the no votes on Thursday.

Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari lashed out at the vote, calling the League of Arab States "broken, both politically and morally." He added that, "If things continue in this manner ... the United Nations will collapse -- morally first and entirely second." more