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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora