Western-backed draft resolution calling for the establishment of full-fledged monitoring mission in Syria
- 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 United States, Britain, and France tabled this draft U.N. Security Resolution calling for the creation of a full-fledged U.N. monitoring mission in Syria, and threatening unspecified sanctions against Syria if it fails to comply with its committments:
The Security Council,
PP1. Recalling its resolution 2042 of 14 April 2012, its Presidential Statements of 5 April 2012, 21 March 2012 and 3 August 2011, and all relevant resolutions of the General Assembly,
PP2. 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,
PP3. Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter,
PP4. Condemning the widespread violations of human rights by the Syrian authorities, including torture, arbitrary detentions, abductions, sexual violence and other abuses against women, children and minorities, 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,
PP5. Expressing its appreciation to states bordering Syria that have made significant efforts 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,
PP6. Reiterating its call in its resolution 2042 (2012) for the Syrian authorities to allow immediate, full and unimpeded access of humanitarian personnel to all populations in need of assistance,
PP7. 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,
PP8. Expressing grave concern at the ongoing violence, and, in particular, the continued use of heavy weapons by the Syrian government in population centres in continued violation of its commitments, the failure of the Syrian government to fulfil its commitments (a), (b) and (c) above or to implement the Envoy’s six-point proposal,
PP9. Taking note of the assessment in the Secretary-General’s 18 April letter 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 could 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,
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 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, 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, and (c) begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres, and also calls upon the Syrian government to withdraw its troops and heavy weapons from population centres to their barracks 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. Decides to authorise a United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) under the command of a Chief Military Observer for an initial period of three months, comprising an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers as well as additional civilian personnel as required by the Mission with a range of skills, including political, human rights, civil affairs, public information, public security, gender and other expertise, and decides further that the Mission shall be deployed expeditiously subject to assessment by the Secretary-General of implementation of paragraph 2 above to his satisfaction;
5. 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 the withdrawal of Syrian troops and heavy weapons from inside and around population centres to their barracks, and to monitor and support the full implementation of the six-point proposal, as well as any other tasks agreed with the parties;
6. Requests that the Secretary-General and the Syrian government conclude a Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA) within 30 days of adoption of this resolution, 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 set out in the "Preliminary understanding", that, pending the conclusion of such an agreement, the model SOMA agreement of 9 October 1990 (A/45/594) shall apply provisionally;
7. Calls upon the Syrian government to ensure the effective operation of the mission by fulfilling the commitments set out in its 19 April "Preliminary Understanding" [(annex)] with the United Nations, including 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 confidentially interact with any individual, group of individuals, body or institution in Syria without threat of harassment or reprisal against any person as a result of interaction with the mission;
8. Underlines the need for the Syrian government to agree rapidly with the United Nations the independent use of air assets by UNSMIS;
9. Calls upon the parties to guarantee the safety of UNSMIS 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 the Mission by any party, including any incidents of non-compliance with paragraph 6 above;
11. Urges all Member States to consider making appropriate contributions to UNSMIS and to respond positively to requests for assistance from the Mission;
12. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution within 15 days of its adoption and regularly thereafter, but no less frequently than every 15 days;
13. Underlines the critical importance of full implementation of paragraph 2 above for a sustained cessation of violence, and in order to generate a conducive environment for the effective operation of UNSMIS, and therefore expresses its intention, in the event of non-compliance with paragraph 2 above, to adopt measures under article 41 of the Charter;
Decides to remain seized of the matter.