Home > Uncategorized > Why NATO States’ Syria Resolution Failed Again

Why NATO States’ Syria Resolution Failed Again

Xinhua News Agency
July 20, 2012

Why Western-backed Syria draft resolution fails again     
By Wei Wei

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During intensive negotiations in the past several days, the Security Council’s consultation room has turned into a fierce diplomatic battle zone and the core disagreement is whether to invoke Chapter VII of the Charter.

A diplomatic source told Xinhua that on the issue of Chapter VII, the Western powers showed no sincerity and acted in a rigid and arrogant way, ignoring other countries’ concerns, thus undermining the common basis for further negotiations.

[W]ithout putting much thought on extending the UNSMIS mandate, the Western-proposed draft resolution raised the issue as an excuse to interfere in Syria’s internal affairs via mandatory actions and thus clear the way for military intervention.

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UNITED NATIONS: Russia and China, two permanent members of the UN Security Council, wielded their veto power Thursday over a Western-proposed draft resolution which threatens sanction measures against the Syrian government if it fails to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from populated areas within 10 days. This is the third time since October 2011 that Russia and China used a veto to block a Security Council draft resolution on the Middle East nation.

Analysts said that the failed draft resolution indicated a foiled attempt of the Western countries trying to use sanctions to interfere in Syria’s internal affairs. It also showed deep division within the Security Council, which may prolong the process of settling the Syria crisis.

CHAPTER VII AS “RED LINE”

The Security Council approved in April the establishing of a UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) of 300 unarmed military observers to oversee a ceasefire in Syria and monitor the implementation of UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point plan. As the mandate of the mission expires on July 20, the Council must decide whether to extend it or not by then.

On July 11, more than a week before the due expiration date, France, Germany, Portugal, Britain and the United States co-sponsored a draft resolution which grants extension of UNSMIS for a period of 45 days and threatens non-military sanctions by invoking Chapter VII of the UN Charter should the Syrian government fail to pull out troops and heavy weapons from populated areas within 10 days.

During intensive negotiations in the past several days, the Security Council’s consultation room has turned into a fierce diplomatic battle zone and the core disagreement is whether to invoke Chapter VII of the Charter.

Chapter VII gives the Council the right to employ measures ranging from economic and diplomatic sanctions to military intervention to give effect to its decision.

Russia has repeatedly warned that it would not agree to a resolution containing any threat of sanctions against Syria. After Security Council consultations late Tuesday, Russian deputy permanent representative to the UN Alexander Pankin said no mention of sanctions in the draft remains “red lines”.

In an effort to break the deadlock, Russia put forward its alternative draft resolution which proposed extending the mandate of UNSMIS for another three months, reducing the number of military observers and asking the operation to take on a more political mission without any threat of sanctions.

However, Western countries insisted on invoking Chapter VII and refused to make any revision to the draft regarding the issue.

A diplomatic source told Xinhua that on the issue of Chapter VII, the Western powers showed no sincerity and acted in a rigid and arrogant way, ignoring other countries’ concerns, thus undermining the common basis for further negotiations.

WHY VETO IS JUSTIFIED

Russia and China had long made it clear that they support extension of UNSMIS and the mediation efforts of Kofi Annan. Yet the Western countries pegged the issue to unilateral sanctions against the Syrian government, and pressed for a vote when there was still time for consultation.

Li Baodong, China’s UN envoy, said in his explanatory statements that “under circumstances when parties were still seriously divided and there was still enough time for continued consultation, the sponsoring countries refused to heed the call of China, some other Security Council members and Special Envoy Annan for further consultation until a text acceptable to all parties was formed and pressed for a vote on the draft resolution”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday ahead of Anna’s second visit to Moscow that the Western-proposed draft resolution contains “elements of blackmail.”

In fact, without putting much thought on extending the UNSMIS mandate, the Western-proposed draft resolution raised the issue as an excuse to interfere in Syria’s internal affairs via mandatory actions and thus clear the way for military intervention.

The Western countries also calculated that if Russia and China vetoed the draft resolution, they could shift the blame for failing to renew the mandate of UNSMIS to the two countries.

Had such a biased, flawed draft resolution passed the council, it could have increased the possibility of a civil war in Syria and destabilized other countries in the region, analysts said.

While Russia does have strategic interests in Syria which serves its Middle East policy, China has no self-interest in Syria.

“We have all along maintained that the prospect and destiny of Syria should be independently determined by the Syrian people, rather than imposed by outside forces. We believe the Syrian issue must be resolved through political means, and military means would go nowhere,” Li said. “This is China’s consistent position on international affairs. It is not targeted at a particular incident or at a certain time. Our purpose is to safeguard the interests of the Syrian people and Arab countries, the interests of all countries, the small and medium-sized countries in particular, the role and authority of the United Nations and its Security Council, as well as the basic norms governing international relations.”

CONTINUED DIPLOMATIC BATTLE

It is notable that failure of this draft resolution does not mean the death of UNSMIS nor the end of Annan’s mediation efforts and a political solution to the Syrian crisis, analysts said.

First, the mandate of UNSMIS expires at 12:00 p.m., July 20 which gives the Council more than one day to agree on a rollover resolution.

Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin suggested the Council on Thursday adopt a “brief, depoliticized” resolution on a technical extension of UNSMIS’ mandate for a specific period of time with a view to “preserving the useful potential” of the mission.

Diplomatic sources close to the council told Xinhua that Pakistan and South Africa, two non-permanent members of the Council, have introduced a draft resolution demanding extension of UNSMIS for 45 days.

Secondly, the mandate of Annan was authorized by the UN General Assembly not the Security Council. The unadopted draft resolution on Syria would not affect Annan’s ability to continue conducting his mediation efforts as special envoy. In fact, it is the vetoed resolution with unbalanced content that fundamentally violated the consensus reached at the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Action Group in Geneva and disrupted the new round of mediation efforts made by Annan.

Analysts observed that the diplomatic battle around Syria will continue as long as the Western countries, out of their own interests, try to push for a regime change in Syria, which is doomed to meet objections by most countries in the world upholding basic norms governing international relations.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Michael
    July 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Why not apply UN Chapter VII when is really needed to stop violence and genocide of Muslims in Myanmar/Burma, Orthodox Christian Serb minority in Kosovo by the Albanians, Kurds in Turkey and Kurds in Northern Iraq by Turkey, Western Saharans by the Moroccan occupation, San People in Namibia, Palestinians by the Israel, etc….?!

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