UNITED NATIONS, August 2 (Itar-Tass) — Russia calls on the UN Security Council to react to the developments in Syria “so that to help settle, rather than exacerbate the conflict.” “If the UN Security Council members approach this matter in line with efforts aimed at working out a common approach, then we could get a good result tomorrow,” Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nation Vitaly Churkin told reporters here on Monday after the Council’s emergency consultations on the situation in Syria.
They were held at the request of Germany, a non-permanent Security Council member. During the consultations, the West countries’ delegations distributed among Security Council members an updated draft resolution condemning the Syrian government for the suppression of opposition protests. They insist that the resolution should be put to the vote in the next 48 hours.
On Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon once again condemned the use of force against the civilian population in Syria. In a statement of his spokesman released at the UN headquarters on Sunday it is aid that “the Secretary-General is deeply concerned over reports from Syria that hundreds of protesters have been killed and injured in Hama and other towns and cities throughout the country. He strongly condemns the use of force against the civilian population and calls on the Government of Syria to halt this violent offensive at once. He reiterates to the Syrian authorities their obligation to respect the human rights of the Syrian people, including their freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly, and urges them to listen to the legitimate aspirations of the population. The Secretary General reminds the Syrian authorities that they are accountable under international human rights law for all acts of violence perpetrated by them against the civilian population.”
Diplomats said during the consultations the Security Council members did not discuss in detail the format, but only discussed the possibility of that or other reaction of the Council to the developments in Syria.
Meanwhile, judging by the statements of the authors of the draft, among which there are France, Britain, Germany and Portugal, they would like to see a unified position of the Council on this issue.
Russia has also called for finding a common standpoint on the Syrian issue, at the same time it believes that not the form, but content of the UNSC possible reaction to the events in Syria is most important. “The shadow of the events in Libya is still hanging over us, when the resolution adopted by the Security Council was treated very frivolously, and we must keep this in mind in deciding what the Security Council can do and what it cannot regarding Syria,” Vitaly Churkin said. “In my view, a statement of the UN Security Council chairman or a statement for the press would be quite a satisfactory step.”
According to the Russian ambassador, the purpose of the UN Security Council reaction is “to try to change the situation on site, and the most important thing is what kind of changes are made.” “If as a result we get a text that could be perceived by some people as an encouragement to repeat the Libyan scenario, then it will lead to exactly the opposite and very dramatic results for Syria and the whole region,” Churkin said. “If it sends a signal to stop violence and find a solution through political means, it will be important and valuable contribution.” According to the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Moscow has a “fairly flexible stance” on this matter.
According to the Russian ambassador, the events in Libya “will yet for long cast a shadow on everything that happens in the UN Security Council, as we have witnessed a situation in which immediately after its adoption, the UN resolution was used as an excuse for any desired action, and now we hear the calls for war to the bitter end that have absolutely nothing to do with UN Security Council Resolution 1973.”
Churkin said that at the moment the main thing is to stop the violence and start a dialogue between the warring sides in Syria, and “the Security Council could lend assistance to these efforts.”
On Tuesday morning the UN Security Council will continue consultations on this issue.
According to a UN press release, Ban Ki-moon voiced his deep concern over reports from Syria that hundreds of protesters have been killed or injured in the city of Hama and other towns across the country during the weekend. He strongly condemned the use of force against civilians and called on the Government of Syria to immediately halt the violence. Mr. Ban reiterated that Syrian authorities have an obligation to respect the human rights of the country’s people, including their freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly. He urged the Government to heed the legitimate aspirations of the population. “The Secretary-General reminds the Syrian authorities that they are accountable under international human rights law for all acts of violence perpetrated by them against the civilian population,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson.
According to media reports, Syrian security forces have killed dozens of people in Hama. Authorities said soldiers were sent to the city to remove barricades erected by the protesters.