Failure of the UN Security Council’s “Efforts” to Bring Peace to Syria

The Role of Staffan De Mistura

The UN Security Council’s efforts to settle the Syrian crisis still haven’t led to any positive results. The permanent members of the meetings on Syria have lots of contradictions they don’t even try to hide but expose to receive their colleagues’ support. One may hardly talk of a constructive political dialogue as the US, Great Britain and France’s representatives to the UNSC leave the hall when the Syrian ambassador is speaking.

In such a tough situation, it’s high time the UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura took the initiative. However, the diplomat just can’t move beyond the statements full of ambiguous facts.

De Mistura accused Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin of exploiting the militants blocked in eastern Aleppo to justify casualties among civilians. But Russian Defense Ministry has published numerous satellite images and other documents proving that the Russian and Syrian AFs carry out airstrikes only at terrorists’ positions. The coordinates are thoroughly checked beforehand to avoid mistakes.

It would be great if with such a haste de Mistura passed from words to deeds. Up to now, the envoy has been just a dummy at the negotiations between Russian FM Sergei Lavrov and the US State Secretary John Kerry. Proposals and settlement mechanisms of the Syrian conflict for some reason are expressed not by the person who by virtue of his position must seek ways for peace in Syria but by third parties. De Mistura himself keeps criticizing Russia and the US and commenting upon their efforts on establishing the cooperation.

Sitting in safety in the UN office and not in the Syrian front line, de Mistura keeps claiming he would personally escort the militants of Jabhat al-Nusra if they decide to leave eastern Aleppo. Avoiding his obligations and shifting the responsibility for finding a way out on Lavrov and Kerry, the top-ranking UN official is not going to retire. “Any sign that I’m going, will be a signal that the international community is leaving Syria. The UN will never leave Syrians,” snobbishly noted de Mistura.

Despite the fact the negotiations in Geneva started almost a year ago, de Mistura still hasn’t been able to bring all sides of the conflict to the table. The opposition set some conditions and threatened to sabotage the talks, which happened eventually. Within this period, the UN envoy couldn’t reach a compromise with armed groups and incite them to hold a direct political dialogue in Geneva. Realizing the UN’s incapability to affect them, the opposition’s leaders keep deceiving de Mistura and terrorize Syria.

For quite a long period of time, the UNSC has achieved nothing in the settlement of the Syrian crisis. Isn’t it the evidence of the fact the international community and the UN envoy de Mistura’s actions are fruitless? The diplomat’s formal and indifferent attitude towards the negotiating process doesn’t contribute to the peaceful settlement and the improvement of the humanitarian crisis the UN is designed to solve. Mass casualties and the long Syrian war once again prove that de Mistura must stop evading his commitments or resign as a person incapable of accomplishing the tasks of putting an end to the bloodshed in Syria.

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Articles by: Mehmet Ersoy

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