UN General Assembly Endorses Arab League’s Plan; Asks Syrian President to Stepdown
New York, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – The United Nations (UN) General Assembly with an overwhelming majority has passed a non-binding resolution endorsing Arab League’s plan calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down amid spiraling violence in the country. China and Russia opposed the resolution. The 193-nation General Assembly passed the resolution om Thursday with 137 in favor and 12 against it and with 17 abstentions.
Meanwhile, activists alleged Friday that Syrian troops were raining mortar shells and gunfire on parts of the city of Homs and many were killed. Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that nine unidentified bodies were found in Homs Friday.
The UN resolution said the assembly “fully supports” the Arab League plan and urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to appoint a special envoy to Syria. The UN also strongly condemned the human rights violations in Syria where thousands of anti-government protesters have been killed in shelling and machine gun fire since the uprising began last year.
Unlike the Security Council, there are no vetoes in the General Assembly but the voting does reflect world opinion on major issues. US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in a statement said that the resolution was “a clear message to the people of Syria — the world is with you.”
“An overwhelming majority of U.N. member states have backed the plan put forward by the Arab League to end the suffering of Syrians,” she said. “Bashar al-Assad has never been more isolated.” Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’afari rejected the resolution and termed it as part of a plot to overthrow Assad and allow the “terrorist” opposition to take over.
Besides, China and Russia, which had earlier vetoed the Security Council resolution on Syria, the other countries that opposed the General Assembly resolution include Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Bolivia.
After their veto of the Security Council resolution, Russia and China have sent their envoys to Damascus in an effort to resolve the crisis in the troubled nation.