Tuesday 20 March 2012

France's proposed UNSC statement on Syria

France hopes the UN Security Council will pass a non-binding presidential statement later today backing efforts by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to end the bloodshed in Syria, secure humanitarian access and broker a political dialogue between the government and opposition, its UN envoy said.
A presidential statement has less weight than a resolution but is adopted by consensus and is generally negotiated faster.
The French-drafted text is “very limited” to Annan’s mission, French ambassador Gerard Araud said. This is a bid to reduce potential opposition from Russia and China.
“It’s really the least controversial text that we could enter,” Araud told reporters after presenting the proposal to the other 14 members of the council.
The Security Council is also negotiating a press statement, proposed by Russia, condemning the bomb attacks in Damascus and Aleppo at the weekend.
Following is the full text of the French-drafted statement:
The Security Council expresses its gravest concern at the deteriorating situation in Syria, which has resulted in a serious human rights crisis and a deplorable humanitarian situation. The Security Council expresses its profound regret at the death of many thousands of people in Syria.
The Security Council welcomes the appointment of Joint Special Envoy for the United Nations and the League of Arab States Kofi Annan, in accordance with General Assembly resolution A/RES/66/253 of 16 February 2012 and relevant resolutions of the League of Arab States.
The Security Council expresses its full support for the Joint Special Envoy to bring an immediate end to all violence and human rights violations, secure humanitarian access, and facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities or beliefs, including through commencing a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition.
To this aim, the Security Council fully supports the six-point plan outlined by the Joint Special Envoy to the Security Council on 10 March 2012 as part of his initial proposals to the Syrian authorities to:
  • commit to work with the Joint Special Envoy in an inclusive Syrian-led political dialogue to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people;
  • commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians, by immediately ceasing troop movements towards and ending the use of heavy weapons in, population centers, and beginning pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers. As these actions are being taken on the ground, the Joint Special Envoy shall seek similar commitments from all other armed groups to cease violence, under an effective United Nations supervision mechanism;
  • ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting;
  • in close coordination with humanitarian organizations, intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable persons and those involved in peaceful protests, by providing without delay to humanitarian organizations a list of all locations in which such persons are being detained and immediately beginning to organize with humanitarian organizations access to such locations;
  • ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists;
  • ensure freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.

The Security Council calls upon the Syrian government and opposition to commit to work in good faith with the Joint Special Envoy towards a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis and to implement fully and immediately his initial six-point plan.
The Security Council requests the Joint Special Envoy to update regularly the Council on the progress of his activities, and decides to review the implementation of the six-point plan within seven days and to consider further measures.