- By Colum Lynch
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. national security advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.
The Russian government opposes latest U.S. and European push to threaten sanctions against Syria if it fails to fully comply with U.N. cease fire committments. Moscow’s offers its own competing resolution for a new U.N. monitoring without the threat. Turtle Bay analysis of today’s diplomatic developments to come soon.
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,
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,
Noting the Envoy’s assessment that, as of 12 April 2012, the parties appeared to be observing a cessation of fire and that the Syrian government had started to implement its commitments, and 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,
Expressing concern over violent incidents and reports of casualties which have escalated again in recent days, and noting that the cessation of the armed violence in all its forms is therefore clearly incomplete,
Taking note of the view expressed by the Secretary-General that a United Nations monitoring mission 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 signing on 19 April 2012 of the Preliminary Understanding between the Syrian Arab Republic and the United Nation to provide 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, and its enclosure (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 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 as it further agreed to do in the Preliminary Understanding signed on 19 April 2012;
3. Underlines the importance attached by the Envoy to the withdrawal of all Syrian government troops and heavy weapons from population centres to their barracks to facilitate a sustained cessation of violence;
4. Calls upon all parties in Syria, including the opposition, immediately to cease all armed violence in all its forms;
5. Decides to establish immediately for an initial period of 90 days a United Nations supervision mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to monitor a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties and relevant aspects of the Envoy’s six-point proposal, on the basis of the Preliminary Understanding signed on 19 April 2012 and the model status-of-forces agreement dated 9 October 1990 (A/45/594) which shall apply provisionally pending the timely conclusion of a status-of-mission agreement concerning the status of UNSMIS between the United Nations and the Syrian government;
6. Decides that UNSMIS will comprise an initial deployment of up to 300 United Nations Military Observers supported by a limited and appropriate substantive civilian component to be agreed in consultations with the Syrian government and the Security Council, pursuant to the Secretary-General’s proposal contained in his letter addressed to the President of Security Council (S/2012/238);
7. 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; 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;
8. Calls upon the parties to guarantee the safety of the 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;
9. Requests the Secretary-General to report immediately to the Security Council any obstructions to the effective operation of UNSMIS by any party;
10. 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;
11. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution within 30 days of its adoption and every 30 days thereafter, and also to submit, if necessary, to the Council his proposals with regard to UNSMIS mandate, scope and methods of work in advance of the expiration of the current mandate;
12. Decides to remain seized of the matter.