Turtle Bay

Europeans call for U.N. condemnation of Syria (draft resolution included)

Britain introduced a draft U.N. Security Council resolution today condemning Syria’s "systematic" violations of human rights as part of a bloody crackdown on anti-government demonstrations, and calling for a "credible and impartial" investigation into abuses of peaceful demonstrators, according to a confidential copy of the draft obtained by Turtle Bay. The British draft, which was ...

Britain introduced a draft U.N. Security Council resolution today condemning Syria’s "systematic" violations of human rights as part of a bloody crackdown on anti-government demonstrations, and calling for a "credible and impartial" investigation into abuses of peaceful demonstrators, according to a confidential copy of the draft obtained by Turtle Bay.

The British draft, which was co-sponsored by France, Germany, and Portugal, aims at using the U.N. Security Council to ratchet up political pressure on Syria to restrain its forces. But it faces the prospects of a veto by China and Russia, Syria’s closest allies on the 15-nation council. The United States has vowed to support the draft resolutions.

U.N. diplomats say they are confident that they have secured the minimum nine votes required for adoption of a resolution, and they were prepared to risk a veto from Russia or China. "If anyone votes against that resolution or tries to veto it, that should be on their conscience," British Prime Minister David Cameron said today.

Here is a copy of the British draft resolution:

Draft SCR on Syria

The Security Council,

Expressing grave concern at the situation in Syria and condemning the violence and use of force,

Welcoming the Secretary-General’s statements articulating continued concerns about the on-going violence and humanitarian needs, and calling for an independent investigation of all killings during recent demonstrations,

Welcoming also the G8 statement of 27 May 2011, and other regional and bilateral diplomatic efforts to address the deteriorating situation in Syria,

Welcoming further Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/RES/S-16/1 of 29 April 2011, including the decision to request the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to dispatch a mission to Syria to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law and to establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes perpetrated, with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring full accountability,

Considering that the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in Syria by the authorities against its people may amount to crimes against humanity,

Expressing concern at the reports of shortages of medical supplies to treat the wounded, caused partly by deliberate prevention of such supplies by the Government of Syria, and at the reports of numerous civilians trying to flee the violence,

Echoing the Secretary-General’s concern at the humanitarian impact of the violence on a number of Syrian towns, and fully supporting the UN’s humanitarian assessment mission to Syria,

Recalling the Syrian authorities’ responsibility to protect its population, and to allow unhindered and sustained access for humanitarian aid and humanitarian organisations,

Underlining the need to respect the freedoms of peaceful assembly and of expression, including freedom of the media and access for international media,

Stressing that the only solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process, noting the stated intention of the Government of Syria to take steps for reform, regretting the lack of progress in implementation, and stressing the need for the Syrian Government to implement reforms fully,

Stressing also the need to hold to account those responsible for attacks, including by forces under the control of the Government of Syria, on peaceful protesters and other individuals,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria,

Concerned by the continuing deterioration of the situation in Syria and the potential for further escalation of the violence,

Further concerned by the risks to regional peace and stability posed by the deteriorating situation in Syria, and mindful of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Condemns the systematic violation of human rights, including the killings, arbitrary detentions, disappearances, and torture of peaceful demonstrators, human rights defenders and journalists by the Syrian authorities, and violence against security forces, and expresses deep regret at the deaths of hundreds of people;

2. Demands an immediate end to the violence, and for steps to address the legitimate aspirations of the population, and calls upon all sides to act with utmost restraint, respect human rights law and international humanitarian law, and refrain from reprisals;

3. Calls upon the Syrian authorities to:

(a) immediately lift the siege of affected towns, including Jisr al-Shughour and Deraa, restore medical, fuel and electricity supplies and communications, and allow immediate, unfettered and sustained access for international human rights monitors and humanitarian agencies and workers;

(b) implement reforms aimed at allowing genuine political participation, inclusive dialogue and effective exercise of fundamental freedoms, immediately release all prisoners of conscience and arbitrarily detained persons, and immediately lift restrictions on all forms of media; and;

(c) launch a credible and impartial investigation in accordance with its international obligations and hold to account those responsible for attacks against peaceful demonstrators, including by forces under the control of the Syrian Government, and co-operate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights mission as set forth in Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/RES/S-16/1 of 29 April 2011;

4. Calls upon all States to exercise vigilance and prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Syria of arms and related materiel of all types;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report on implementation of this resolution within 14 days of its adoption, and every 30 days thereafter;

6. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Follow me on Twitter @columlynch

Colum Lynch is a senior staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @columlynch

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