News / Middle East

International Community Urges Political Transition in Syria

Two electronic boards show the results of a vote about supporting the opposition forces in Syria, in the United Nations General Assembly in New York, May 15, 2013.
Two electronic boards show the results of a vote about supporting the opposition forces in Syria, in the United Nations General Assembly in New York, May 15, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
In a vote Wednesday at the U.N. General Assembly, support for Syria’s opposition was weaker than previously, with a symbolic resolution garnering less outright support and nearly double the abstentions than a similar vote nine months ago.

Reacting to the continued paralysis in the 15-nation U.N. Security Council, Qatar and several other countries decided several weeks ago to push for a resolution in the U.N. General Assembly on the situation in Syria, which continues to deteriorate.

In the meantime, the United States and Russia put forward an initiative aimed at getting representatives of both the Syrian government and opposition to the negotiating table next month.

Despite the objections of Russia, Syria and several other countries that General Assembly action now would be counter-productive, the draft resolution was approved Wednesday with a vote of 107 in favor, 12 against and 59 abstentions.

The non-binding resolution welcomes the establishment of the opposition Syrian National Coalition as “effective representative interlocutors needed for a political transition.” It also calls for an inclusive Syrian-led political transition through dialogue with representatives from both the government and opposition.

The United States, one of nearly 60 co-sponsors of the resolution, disagreed that it would hurt efforts to bring the Syrian sides together. Deputy U.S. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo spoke in the General Assembly before the vote.

“In our view, the resolution before you is consistent with this latest initiative. Adopting this resolution will send a clear message that the political solution we all seek is the best way to end the suffering of the people of Syria,” said DiCarlo.

Most of the “no” votes were expected - Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela were among them. But nearly twice as many countries abstained compared to last August, when the General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted another resolution on Syria. This time, 26 fewer countries supported the measure with a "yes" vote. Some diplomats suggested this reflected growing concerns about Syria's divided opposition and extremist elements among it.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the more than two years of Syria's conflict, while nearly 6 million more either have been displaced or have fled to neighboring countries, causing a severe humanitarian crisis in the region.

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lapazjim from: United States
May 15, 2013 7:16 PM
It is understandable that some of you believe that the U.S. and other countries are involved in trying to get rid of Assad because of the propaganda fed to you which is basically BS.Your main contributor to the continuation of this problem is Russia and their supplying Assad with military weapon support.
Russia and China should realize that they need to take care of issues nearer to their countries.They need to stop going against the UN security council on a consistent basis.China especially needs to realize that their current problem with the "boy child"in North Korea needs their attention more.If the little boy throws a temper tantrum and launches a missile in the wrong direction is China still going to be his ally?Very doubtful as their loss will be significant in world trade and they are not willing o loose that. China's new found status and monies will keep them from it.
The problem has always been that the countries that back UN resolutions do not want to do what it takes to enforce them.They have no guts and are all talk.To achieve this the U.S. has been the one that leads and the others follow.China and Russia need to realize that to e a power in this world and attempt to maintain peace they must make the sacrifice of becoming the bad guys to the world as the U.S. has.If China wants to e this dominating force and take over for the U.S. in these situations then let them be he ones to man up and take over.
Without unilateral decisions made by the U.S.,China and Russia to maintain peace and stability in the world then there will be no hope for the world.This worlds ultimate destruction due its ineffectiveness to maintain peace for all will result in the end for all of the people and even this planet!!!

by: Monir Hafez from: Egypt
May 15, 2013 3:35 PM
UN should pass a resolution to outlaw US/Israel, France and Britain and Germany as warmongers and child killers of Muslims around the world

by: Le Ruscino from: Monaco
May 15, 2013 7:18 AM
With the Rebels using Sarin gas as officially confirmed by the UN and now eating the raw heart of Syrian soldier! America, UK & France have got it all a*se backwards!

Russia been proved to have right from day one beside since the regime change in Libya arranged by the UN which has been an incredible disaster & created by a manipulation of lies - How can the UN right this wrong to be credible again?

The US must 'shut um mouth' until Gitmo is closed a freedom of speech is returned to the good American people.

by: Sam from: Accra
May 15, 2013 6:43 AM
What at all does Qatar hope to gain from the destruction of Syria. They seem to be the cause of all Syria's troubles including the arming of rebels to overthrow the regime.
The tables will soon turn.

by: zainmunshi from: Indian kashmir
May 15, 2013 5:59 AM
why this discrimination?,why not a parallel resolution condemning the role of US,France,Britain and Germany for forcible regime change in Syria,and for this purpose sending mercenaries to Syria and then actively aiding and abetting these terrorists who perpetrate mayhem in Syria.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs