Rights groups welcome UN condemnation of Syria
GENEVA – Rights groups welcomed today's sharp condemnation of Syria, and the creation of a full commission of inquiry, at the conclusion of an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council. The EU-sponsored resolution passed 33 to 4, with 9 abstentions.
The Geneva-based UN Watch, which heads an international coalition of 50 human rights groups that petitioned for the urgent meeting, congratulated the EU and the US for spearheading the resolution. (For UN Watch testimony delivered to UNHRC session by Syrian opposition leader Lama Atassi: http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/2011/08/22/syrian-democracy-activist-addresses-un-urgent-session-on-syria/.)
"Today's resolution sends a clear message from the international community: the writing is on the wall for the Syrian regime," said UN Watch director Hillel Neuer. "The government of President Bashar al-Assad is an enemy of human rights and should surrender power immediately."
However, Neuer expressed "profound concern that India, a great democracy, joined autocracies Russia and China by taking the floor to make excuses for Syria's massacre of it own population."
China, Russia, Cuba and Ecuador voted against the resolution. Abstaining were India, Mauritania, Angola, Philippines, Cameroon, Uganda, Bangladesh, Djibouti and Malaysia.
UN Watch is a Geneva-based human rights organization founded in 1993 to monitor UN compliance with the principles of its Charter. It is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI).