China, Russia Vote Against UNHRC Resolution on Syria

China and Russia on Thursday voted against a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Syria which “strongly condemns the continued widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities.”

A total of 37 members of the UNHRC voted in favor of the resolution proposed by Turkey which also called upon the Syrian government to “immediately put an end to all human rights violations and attacks against civilians, (and) to cease all violence.”

Cuba also voted against the resolution while India, Philippines and Ecuador abstained. Russia said before the voting that the resolution was “not a balanced one.”

The resolution called on Syria to “allow free and unimpeded access by the United Nations and humanitarian agencies to carry out a full assessment of needs in Homs and other areas, and to permit humanitarian agencies to deliver vital relief goods and services to all civilians affected by the violence.”

It also reaffirmed the council’s commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

Esther Brimmer, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, said during the debate that the Syrian government must immediately halt its attacks on civilians, withdraw its military and security forces to their barracks, and release detained civilians, including journalists.

She also urged the HRC, in the coming weeks, to extend the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry, so that it could continue its investigation in Syria.

The Syrian representative to the UN boycotted the UNHRC debate on the human rights situation in the country on Tuesday.

Faysaal Khabbaz Hamoui, Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, declared at the beginning of the urgent debate that Syria would not recognize the legitimacy of the session and any resolution it may adopt.

“The real aim of holding this session is to fuel the flames of terrorism and to prolong the crisis in my country by expressing a message of support through the session to the armed groups, and the concept of civil protection and humanitarian intervention are being manipulated for political reasons,” Hamoui said.

He also declared the withdrawal of the Syrian delegation from the discussion and left the meeting hall.

“We reaffirm to all those alleged friends of the Syrian people that the simple step to immediately help the Syrian people is to stop inciting sectarianism, providing arms and weapons and funding and putting the Syrian people one against the other,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rodolfo Reyes Roderiguez, Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said that civil war in Syria or a foreign intervention by foreign forces could give rise to serious consequences for all of humanity.

He said Cuba supported a political solution to the current crisis in full conformability with the sovereignty and independence of Syria.



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