On hi visit in the city of Homs in Syria, the head of UN peacekeeping Herve Ladsous met with Syrian government and opposition group representative.
According to Mr. Ladsous, during the meeting both sides expressed their commitment to the Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan. He also noted the diminishing of violence in the city since the arrival of the military observers.
Mr. Ladsous’ visit aimed to assess progress made on the ground by UN military observers.
Mr. Ladsous affirmed that the focus needs to be on building dialogue and confidence between the parties.
UN Photo/Neeraj Singh
Media reports say the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations arrived in Syria late last week for a four-day visit to meet with UNSMIS observers and assess developments.
In addition, the peacekeeping chief met with both government and opposition groups in Damascus to boost cooperation for the second phase of the observer Mission.
While on the ground, Mr. Ladsous noted the record time in which the UNSMIS observers deployed. He also emphasized that the end of the violence will only happen if Syrians and all parties choose the path of dialogue and reconciliation.
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 UNSMIS is tasked with monitoring the cessation of violence in Syria and supporting the full implementation of a six-point plan put forward by Mr. Kofi Annan.
On 27th of March 27, Mr. Annan reported that the Syrian government had accepted the six point-plan and pledged to implement it.
According to report, below is the the six-point plan which asks the Syrian authorities to:
(1) commit to work with the Envoy in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people
(2) commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians
(3) ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, as immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two hour humanitarian pause
(4) intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained
(5) ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;
(6) respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed
Earlier this week, amid ongoing violence in parts of Syria, immediate calming effect on the ground was cited brought about by the arrival of the presence of UNSMIS.
Reports say military observers on the ground has an overall calming effect in their areas of deployment in the Middle Eastern country.
Head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria Major-General Robert Mood said the Mission is pleased to see and witness an immediate calming effect brought about by their arrival
The Mission is seeing in the areas where observers were deployed that they have both a calming effect on the ground and they are seeing that they have a good dialogue and the dialogue is expanding both with the authorities and the opposition elements.
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 9,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.