News / Middle East

France to Push for UN Vote to Condemn Syrian Violence

France says it will push for a vote in the U.N. Security Council on a resolution condemning a government crackdown on protesters in Syria. Foreign Minister Alain Juppé says a vote could come soon.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Security Council meeting on HIV/AIDS, Juppé said the situation in Syria is escalating and the council must take action.

“The repression is getting worse; the massacres are on the rise.  It is inconceivable that the U.N. remains silent on such a matter.  We are working with our U.K. friends to have as large a majority as possible on the Security Council.  I think we have to move to a vote so that everyone can assume their responsibilities,” Juppe said.

France and its European colleagues on the council circulated a draft resolution in late May expressing grave concern and condemning the violence against civilians.  The resolution called for restraint and the release of all people detained during the protests that began in mid-March.

Juppé said France is forging a majority slowly and would “soon” set a date for a vote.  Asked how soon, he replied:

“I answered this question before, I told you we are waiting for as large as possible majority in the Security Council and I think it is a question of days, maybe hours,” Juppe said.

Diplomats say they believe they have the required nine votes for the measure to pass, but are not certain whether Russia or China would veto the decision.

Although the resolution is largely symbolic, in that it has no sanctions and authorizes no military intervention, diplomats say there is apprehension among some countries to sign on to it following two resolutions in the council on Libya that ultimately led to military intervention.

On his way into the Council, Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong told reporters his country is concerned about the situation in Syria. “But we do not think the involvement of the Security Council will help the situation there,” Li said.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the situation demonstrates the need for the Security Council to take a stand.

“Obviously events over the weekend and yesterday are very serious, and in our view the Security Council should take cognizance of that.  We are looking at our text to adapt it, obviously, to recent events on the ground.  And we will be seeing whether there is any shift in those few countries who are so far still opposing action in the Security Council.  And if, as I hope, there is some sign of movement, we will be putting it to a vote quickly,” Grant said.

Rights groups say at least 1,100 people have been killed in the government's crackdown against the anti-government campaign that began in mid-March.  More than 10,000 have been arrested.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs