WORLD NEWS TOMORROW – UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) — The resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on Friday would add fresh pressure to the Syrian government, which is undergoing unabated violence and insurgency, analysts here said.
The resolution, which demands all parties in Syria cease violence and create an environment conducive to a political transition, is putting more pressure on Damascus, as international mediation efforts are overshadowed by the resignation of UN-Arab League special joint envoy Kofi Annan, they said.
It meant many countries in the world were unsatisfied with the developments on the Syrian ground, and were calling for more efforts from the government to reduce violence and restore stability.
The document, drafted by Saudi Arabia and received 133 votes in favor, 12 against and 31 abstained, condemned the Syrian government and its troops for stepping up the use of heavy weapons in populated areas.
Analysts said that while the resolution only carries symbolic weight and is not legally binding, it will still increase pressure on the Syrian government as the conflicts continue on the ground.
The Assad administration, embattled in a fierce war against the opposition at home, is encountering more suspicion and accusation from the outside, observers said.
However, the resolution also met significant opposition.
Russia voted against it, saying the text is “one-sided and unbalanced,” as it simply puts the entire responsibility for the crisis on the government and encourages Syria’s opposition to continue the violence.
Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin accused some countries of supporting, financing, and providing mercenaries to the Syrian opposition under the disguise of humanitarian aid.
China also voted against the document, saying it “is opposed to any action forcing a ‘regime change’ in Syria, and sanctions can only make the situation more complicated.”
An original draft resolution, sponsored by some Arab nations and Western countries including the United States, was circulated on Monday, demanding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down and calling for sanctions on Syria.
But the tough language in the text was met with strong opposition from many UN members including Brazil, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Argentina at a private meeting on Tuesday.
Considering the opposition, Saudi Arabia deleted the requirements of Syrian regime change and sanctions in its final version.
Experts said the future of international mediation efforts now seem gloomier, as the fate of the UN Supervision Mission of Syria, whose mandate is due to expire on Aug. 20, is remaining in doubt.
Grave challenges are lying ahead in international efforts to seek a peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis, they said.
However, UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said on Thursday that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wanted to maintain the UN presence in Syria and there was still time to see whether something happens that will change the situation.
The Assad administration, in order to downgrade outside pressure and possible blunt intervention, perhaps needs to take the opportunity to carry out more effective and innovative ways to reconcile with the opposition and bring back stability as early as possible.