To monitor and observe the compliance of the the Assad regime’s cessation of military actions in Syria, the United States of America today said it has voted in favor of resolution 2043 authorizing the establishment of a UN supervision mission in Syria.
In her remarks at DC today, U.S. Permanent Representative Ambassador E. Rice said the United States is sober about the risks of the deployment of UN observers, all the more so given the Assad regime’s long record of broken promises, deceit and disregard for the most basic standards of humanity.
She explains that the Syrian people, know that the deployment of 300 or even 3,000 unarmed observers cannot, on its own, stop the Asad regime from waging its barbaric campaign of violence against the Syrian people.
“What can bring a halt to this murderous rampage is continued and intensified external pressure on the Asad regime.” -Ms. Rice
The Syrian opposition has said that it welcomes the deployment of the UN military observers and additional human rights and other civilian monitors, because they will be impartial eyes and ears on the ground to bear witness to the Syrian government’s flagrant and persistent violations of its commitments, Ms. Rice added.
Ms. Rice stresses that the Syrian people expect – and they deserve – that the Council will stand behind resolution and ensure that swift and meaningful consequences are imposed should the regime continue to flout its obligations.
Since the adoption of resolution 2042 last week, in which the Council unanimously called on the Syrian government to honor all its obligations, including a sustained cessation of violence.
However, the regime has unleashed yet another wave of horrific violence against its own people resulting in the deaths of scores of Syrians daily, she noted.
She cites that the government’s use of shelling and heavy weaponry, in particular in Homs, has reached levels that surpass those before the ceasefire.
Syrian government troops and armor have not been withdrawn from cities and returned to barracks, Ms. Rice reported.
“Protesters are still being intimidated and murdered by government forces.” -Ms. Rice
The status of thousands of detainees remains unclear, she stressed.
She notes that precious little progress had been made on the issue of humanitarian access, with an estimated one million civilians still in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
The United Nations Security Council has called upon the government to take concrete actions.
“The Syrian government has ignored this Council. In the United States, patience is exhausted.” -Ms. Rice
No one should assume that the United States will agree to renew this mission at the end of 90 days, Ms. Rice underlined.
She stresses that if there is not a sustained cessation of violence, full freedom of movement for UN personnel and rapid meaningful progress on all other aspects of the six-point plan, Ms. Rice said that this mission has run its course.
“We will not wait 90 days to pursue measures against the Syrian government, if it continues to violate its commitments or obstruct the monitors’ work.” -Ms. Rice
The United States expresses its deep gratitude to the monitors who are now embarking on the unprecedented and risky mission.
She says the UN observers are going to be dependent for security on the very government which is responsible for the main security threats.
She states that the UN observers are going to be deployed in the midst of protesters who are desperate for a protection that the monitors are not equipped or mandated to provide.
“They will be deployed in numbers too small to cover the entire country but large enough to give rise to expectations that will be impossible to meet, if the Syrian government does not fulfil its commitments towards a sustained cessation of violence.” -Ms. Rice
She notes that US experience with UN peacekeeping over the last 65 years teaches the world that such missions require there to be a peace to keep, in order to succeed.
The opposition has said they want and need this mission, hoping that the presence of these monitors will have a restraining effect on the Syrian government and help uphold the rights of the Syrian people to assemble and express themselves freely, Ms. Rice cited.
“The United States strongly supports full implementation of the Joint Special Envoy’s six-point plan.” -Ms. Rice
Ms. Rice stresses that the international community is planning and preparing for those actions that will be required if the Asad regime persists in the slaughter of the Syrian people.
Today, the Security Council has authorized the establishment of a United Nations observer mission to Syria, for an initial period 90 days.
In a unanimous decision, Council members passed a resolution calling for the formation of the “United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), comprising an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers as well as an appropriate civilian component.”
The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 10,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.