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 As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.