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Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of Syria to the UN
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Letter dated 19 April 2012 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2012/238)

The meeting was called to order at 11.15 a.m.

Letter dated 19 April 2012 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2012/238)

The President: Under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure, I invite the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to participate in this meeting.

The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda.

Members of the Council have before them document S/2012/245, which contains the text of a draft resolution submitted by China, Colombia, France, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal and the Russian Federation.

I wish to draw the attention of Council members to document S/2012/238, which contains a letter dated 19 April from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council.

It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now.

A vote was taken by show of hands.

In favour:

Azerbaijan, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal, Russian Federation, South Africa, Togo, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America

The President: The draft resolution received 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 2043 (2012).

I shall now give the floor to those members of the Council who wish to make statements after the voting.

Mr. Churkin (Russian Federation) (spoke in Russian): Russia presented the initiative to swiftly adopt a Security Council resolution on establishing the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, in order to pave the way for a United Nations presence with a stabilizing influence in that country. Resolution 2043 (2012) is of fundamental importance in pushing forward the process for a peaceful settlement in Syria and enshrines the Council’s consensus on supporting the six-point proposal of Joint Special Envoy Annan. We now believe the main aim to be the unwavering and clear respect by all parties for the provisions of the resolution. Any deviation, whether from the resolution’s provisions or in their interpretation, will be unacceptable. The Libyan model should remain forever in the past.

The resolution establishes clear parameters of responsibility for all Syrian parties on the cessation of violence and on the need to cooperate with United Nations observers and the mission of the Joint Special Envoy. However, that is not all.

In order to achieve comprehensive implementation of the resolution, it is very important for the external players involved in the Syrian issue to also act very responsibly. They too should take action while bearing in mind the provisions adopted by the Security Council so that all Syrians may participate in an inclusive political process with respect to the establishment of a democratic, pluralistic system in Syria, for all Syrians, irrespective of ethnic or religious background. Only through that process will Syrians be able to take their own decisions on their country’s future political situation. Any external influence imposed by us on that process could risk exacerbating the crisis.

We call upon all Syrian parties — both the authorities and the opposition — to refrain from violence and to fully uphold the provisions of the Annan plan and the requirements of the resolution. Once again, we issue a call to all States with influence on the opposition to encourage them to do the same. In that context, we will continue to work with Damascus.

The resolution sends an important international legal signal, namely, that only the Security Council has the prerogative to take a decision regarding the settlement of a regional crisis, including the Syrian crisis. Any other forum, such as a group of friends or a coalition of mutual interests, should clearly uphold the resolutions of the Security Council and not undermine its activity. The Russian Federation will closely follow those developments.

Mr. Araud (France) (spoke in French): We welcome the unanimous adoption of resolution 2043 (2012), which establishes the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, with a mandate of monitoring the cessation of violence and the full implementation of the Joint Special Envoy’s six-point proposal. After so many months of obstruction, Syria must understand the unanimous message being sent by the international community as well as the meaning of its commitments to put an end to an intolerable situation.

One week ago, we adopted a resolution providing for the deployment of an advance observation mission (resolution 2042 (2012)). After 13 months of senseless, bloody repression, which has produced more than 11,000 dead and has destabilized the entire region, a strengthened mission is absolutely essential. It should be deployed as soon as possible.

The adoption of today’s resolution, however, should not lead us to forget that the situation on the ground remains worrying owing to the refusal of Damascus to genuinely meet its commitments. As the Secretary-General emphasized in his letter to the Council last Thursday (S/2012/238), the Syrian authorities have not implemented the measures to be immediately put in place, as they committed to the Joint Special Envoy to do. They Syrian army has only given the impression of having retreated. Bombardment and firing with heavy weapons continues.

The deployment of the first observers in Syria has in no way changed the regime’s lethal behaviour. Homs and Idlib continue to pay the heavy price of unbridled repression. In Dar’a and Duma, snipers are continuing their heinous deeds. Throughout the entire country, as it has done for 13 months, the regime is continuing its bloody repression of demonstrations, to carry out torture, arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances and sexual violence. The humanitarian urgency is greater than ever. By its daily nefarious actions the Syrian regime is violating the decisions of the Security Council and demonstrating its contempt for it, as well as for the Joint Special Envoy and, more generally, the entire international community.

Against that backdrop, we know that we are taking a risk in voting for today’s resolution. We believe that Mr. Annan’s plan is a last opportunity for peace that we should not miss. That is the reason that France supported the adoption of resolution 2043 (2012). We did so with determination and without illusions.

As the Secretary-General has said, in order to fully carry out its mandate, this Mission should be provided with significant personnel, who should be deployed as soon as possible to cover all the regions affected by the developments. The observers must have full freedom of movement. Any obstruction by the Syrian authorities is to be reported to the Security Council. In implementation of resolution 2043 (2012), the Syrian authorities must ensure the security of observers while guaranteeing that there is no hindrance to their deployment throughout the country, in their contacts with the population or in their communications; nor are there to be any reprisals of any sort against the population. In that regard, I should like to underscore that the use of air transport is absolutely crucial to the success of the Mission. It is only under those conditions that the observers will be able to effectively carry out their duties. France will remain vigilant vis-à-vis its demand for Syria’s full cooperation with the observation Mission.

I would like to recall that our goal in deploying the Mission is not just an end to repression; above all, it is the launching of a political transition in Syria towards a democratic system, so that the Syrian people can at last freely choose their destiny. Both of those must move ahead in tandem. We can wait no longer. More civilians are dying with each passing day.

The observers must be deployed now and must be able to work without obstruction. Violence must stop. The Annan plan must be comprehensively implemented, in particular when it comes to the freedom to demonstrate, which must be fully observed. We will judge the Government of Syria on its actions. The observers should be able to tell us whether Syria’s obligations are properly being met. Were that not to be the case, we will have to consider other options, including possible sanctions available to the Security Council and the international community.

Mr. Wittig (Germany): Today’s unanimous authorization of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) is an important, far-reaching step. We supported resolution 2043 (2012) because we stand entirely behind the efforts of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan to achieve a sustainable cessation of violence and to facilitate a political transition process in Syria. We supported the resolution because we share the assessment made by Mr. Annan and the Secretary-General that the deployment of observers under the right conditions could positively influence dynamics on the ground.

At the same time, we must all be aware that the decision taken today is not without risks. Clearly, the cessation of armed violence is incomplete. The authorities in Damascus continue their attacks on the population, they continue to shell the city of Homs with artillery and they have not withdrawn their troops and tanks to their barracks.

Other forms of violence continue unabated, such as arbitrary detention, torture, abduction, sexual violence and violence against children, women and minorities.

The Syrian Government continues to play for time, despite its own commitment made to the Joint Special Envoy and the repeated demands made by the Security Council for the immediate and full implementation of the six-point plan.

Our work is not done with the adoption of today’s resolution. To the contrary, our work has only begun. We must now ensure that the observers have the necessary security and can operate freely and in the right conditions to effectively implement their mandate. The new United Nations Mission must not, under any circumstances, become a pawn in tactical and political games.

We have made every effort to ensure that resolution 2043 (212) adequately reflects those concerns. It is now for the Syrian authorities to prove that they live up to their responsibilities. If they do not do so the Security Council has made it clear that it will consider further steps.

We must remain vigilant. Too many commitments made by Damascus in the past have not been kept. We have therefore asked the Secretary-General to carefully assess the conditions on the ground before deploying personnel. We have also asked him to report immediately and in short intervals on any obstruction of the Mission. It will be our task to act appropriately.

The observers may contribute to solidifying a cessation of armed violence, but they cannot substitute for a political solution. The deployment of observers is only one, albeit crucial, element of the six-point plan by the Joint Special Envoy. We therefore welcome the fact that UNSMIS will comprise civilian personnel with relevant expertise, such as on human rights and gender, to monitor and support the implementation of the other aspects of the six-point plan.

Here, too, urgent action is required by Damascus. As stated by the Secretary-General, actions on the ground must be consistent with stated commitments to carry out the six-point plan. For instance, the status and circumstances of thousands of detainees remains unclear and there are reports of significant abuses. No substantive progress has been achieved on humanitarian access to those in need, or on increasing the capacity of the humanitarian organizations on the ground.

Clearly, the elements of the six-point plan are all closely interlinked. We have today made an important step on one of the six elements. Others need to follow with the goal of enabling, as quickly as possible, a political transition process towards a democratic and pluralistic system. In our view, accountability for the crimes committed must be a central element of the transition process. We have repeatedly stressed that there cannot be a return to the status quo ante.

In conclusion, I would like to applaud Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his strong leadership, and to reiterate our full support to the efforts of Joint Special Envoy Annan and his team.

Mr. Osorio (Colombia) (spoke in Spanish): Colombia associates itself with this second pronouncement by the Security Council within one week, which shows our firm determination to deal with the Syrian crisis. It is clear that violence in all its forms has not ceased and that there continue to be attacks and incidents that constitute violations of the ceasefire declared on 12 April. That is why we support the establishment of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), with a mandate to monitor a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties and to oversee and ensure the full implementation of the six-point plan of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Mr. Kofi Annan.

We would hope that the broad presence on the ground will make it possible for us to follow up and monitor on an ongoing basis the fulfilment of the conditions set out in the six-point plan, to which the Syrian Government and the opposition have committed themselves. To that end, the resolution requests the Secretary-General to inform the Security Council immediately of any obstacles preventing UNSMIS from doing its job. In that respect, we hope that the Syrian authorities will assume the responsibilities incumbent upon them.

The coordination and efforts of the Joint Special Envoy deserve our full support and gratitude. My delegation believes that his proposal is an ideal one to immediately put an end to all violence, ensure access to humanitarian assistance and to provide for a political transition, led by Syria towards a democratic pluralistic political system through the establishment of the necessary conditions for beginning a broad-based political dialogue between the Syrian Government and the entire spectrum of the Syrian opposition. That is why it is urgent that all parties effectively meet all of the conditions provided for in the proposal and in the commitments they have made and that the Syrian authorities put an end to violent repression and atrocities.

Mr. Loulichki (Morocco) (spoke in Arabic): Allow me first to express our sincere condolences to our colleagues from Pakistan for the crash of the aircraft yesterday. May God have mercy on the souls of the victims.

My delegation wishes to express the satisfaction of the Kingdom of Morocco at the fact that, in just one week, the Security Council has been able to adopt two important resolutions by consensus concerning Syria (resolutions 2042 (2012) and 2043 (2012)). We first welcomed the initial agreement between the Joint Special Representative and the Syrian Government on an immediate cessation of fighting and violence throughout Syria. However, while violence has decreased as compared with the immediate past, the fact that it continues to exists shows that both parties have not fully committed to their responsibilities. Now we are calling for a full cessation of all forms of violence.

The ministerial committee on Syria of the League of Arab States met this week. Among the meeting’s results were a condemnation of the continuing acts of violence against Syrian civilians, a demand on the Syrian Government and all other parties to commit to a full cessation of violence, a call for close cooperation with the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, and the full implementation of his six-point plan. The committee also called on the Council to speed up the deployment of observers to Syria and to ensure the conditions and means necessary for the implementation of their mandate.

Today the Council has responded to those calls. It has unanimously agreed to the establishment of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), to be rapidly deployed on the ground at the discretion of the Secretary-General with the goal of putting an end to armed violence by all parties and fully supporting Mr. Annan’s six-point plan. We sincerely hope that conditions will be met to allow for the deployment of UNSMIS on the ground as soon as possible.

We are convinced that the deployment of a United Nations mission will contribute to monitoring the commitment by all parties to a cessation of all forms of violence and to the success of the Annan six-point plan. In its resolution, the Security Council rightly expresses appreciation for the major efforts made by countries neighbouring Syria to assist Syrian refugees. It also expresses gratitude for the assistance provided by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to countries hosting refugees until they can return home.

By reaffirming its strong commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, as well as to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, today’s resolution sends a very clear message to those who have any doubts as to our full commitment to a complete cessation of violence in Syria and to the success of Mr. Annan’s six-point plan, so that work can begin as soon as possible towards a peaceful political settlement of the crisis in Syria in a manner that responds to the aspirations of our Syrian brothers and sisters.

The past few weeks have shown the importance of unity in the Security Council, as well as the effect of that unity on the course of events and on the parties’ commitment to their promises. We hope that such unity in the Council will have an impact on the full implementation of Mr. Annan’s six-point plan and on the return of stability and a future of democracy for the Syrian people — one which responds to the aspirations of all segments.

Sir Mark Lyall Grant (United Kingdom): It has been one week since the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2042 (2012), authorizing the deployment of an advance team of 30 unarmed military observers to Syria. The Council was clear about the obligations on the regime to cease troop movements towards population centres, end the use of heavy weapons and begin the pull-back of military forces from in and around population centres. It was also unambiguous in its call for the advance team to operate under appropriate conditions, including the requirement that the regime ensure full and unimpeded freedom of movement. We committed to deploy a larger mission only after a sustained cessation of violence.

Unfortunately, since the adoption of resolution 2042 (2012), the regime has done little to demonstrate that it has any intention of taking the steps necessary to end the crisis. On the contrary, we have witnessed a further escalation of the regime’s brutality. It has continued to use heavy weapons, shelling Homs and other cities, in violation of its commitments to the United Nations. It has restricted the advance team’s freedom of movement, in a flagrant effort to hide the truth about its shameful acts of brutality and destruction.

Nevertheless, the Secretary-General has recommended that a larger team be deployed. We share his judgment that such a mission could help shift the dynamic on the ground. We have therefore worked constructively on ensuring the rapid authorization of the Mission. We welcome the unanimous adoption today of resolution 2043 (2012).

The United Kingdom believes that a mission that is able to operate effectively could have a positive impact on the ground, in terms of both saving lives and ushering in a Syrian-led political transition. The resolution comes following the preliminary understanding reached between the Syrian Government and the United Nations on the mandate and operating conditions of the Mission. It is essential that it now be implemented in full.

A larger mission, provided that it has freedom of movement and the use of air assets as called for in the resolution, will be able to monitor more locations. The mandate is not just to monitor a cessation of violence, but to monitor and support the full implementation of the six-point proposal, including the elements related to political detentions, ensuring freedom of demonstration and association, human rights, access for journalists and the political transition. That is why it will include a strong civilian component, with a range of skills, including political, human rights and civil affairs.

It is a measure of the depth of international concern that we are ready to deploy unarmed United Nations personnel into such a dangerous environment. It is fraught with risk. The Mission will fail in its task if the regime continues to violate its commitments and obstruct the work of the Mission. The Mission and the Joint Special Envoy’s six-point proposal represent the last opportunity for the Syrian regime to reverse course and to allow a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria to emerge. Continued failure of the regime to meet its commitments or any attempt to hinder the work of the Mission must be met with robust sanctions by the Council.

Mr. Moraes Cabral (Portugal): In his letter of 19 April 2012 (S/2012/238), the Secretary-General recommended that the Security Council authorize the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). The Mission will have to not only monitor a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties, but also to monitor and support the full implementation of the Joint Special Envoy’s six-point proposal. Resolution 2043 (2012) is the Council’s unified and swift reaction to those recommendations.

Today, the Security Council has sent yet another clear and united message to the Syrian authorities that the cessation of armed violence must be respected in full and that immediate action is needed on all aspects of the six-point proposal. In that regard, we express our grave concern over the escalation in violence and casualties in recent days and over the fact that the cessation of armed violence in all its forms remains clearly incomplete, in a serious breach of resolution 2042 (2012).

Also, the widespread violations of human rights continue unabated, as stated in shocking detail in the Secretary-General’s letter. They must cease forthwith, and accountability for such violations must be guaranteed. Likewise, the humanitarian situation is worsening by the day. Full and unimpeded humanitarian access is of the utmost urgency. Portugal renews its call to all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and relevant humanitarian organizations.

In that regard, allow me to express my country’s deep appreciation for the assistance that neighbouring States have been providing for over a year now to those fleeing violence, persecution and repression, despite the disruption that the situation in Syria has brought to their own countries.

As we have repeatedly stated, the six-point proposal represents the last chance for a peaceful political solution to the Syrian crisis. The Syrian authorities must, once and for all, demonstrate serious intent and match actions with stated commitments. Portugal sincerely hopes that, following 13 months of horrific repression, which has caused many thousands of deaths and unimaginable human suffering, the deployment of the United Nations Supervision Mission will indeed help to change the dynamics on the ground and create the conditions conducive to a Syrian-led political transition that meets the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Syrian people.

For that to happen, the Syrian Government must implement immediately and visibly all its commitments under the six-point plan in their entirety, including the withdrawal of troops and heavy weapons from population centres to their barracks to facilitate the sustained cessation of violence. It must also ensure the technical operation of the Mission as set out in today’s resolution and the preliminary understanding of 19 April 2012.

As I already stated, the six-point proposal represents the last hope of avoiding an all-out civil war in Syria with dire consequences for both the people of Syria and the region. That is why we voted in favour of today’s resolution, notwithstanding all the inherent risks.

We call upon all parties to seize the opportunity that today’s resolution represents for a sustained peace and a meaningful political process in Syria, and therefore to cease all armed violence in all its forms and cooperate fully with the United Nations Supervision Mission. We also reiterate our appreciation and full support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States. We urge all parties to engage constructively with Joint Special Envoy Annan on a credible Syrian-led political process that will meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people for peace, freedom, democracy and equality.

Mr. Mehdiyev (Azerbaijan): Azerbaijan has been consistent in its support of the efforts aimed at ending the violence, overcoming the crisis in Syria and finding a solution by peaceful means and through dialogue. Like all Security Council members, we have also expressed our full support for the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Mr. Kofi Annan, and his six-point proposal. As we all want a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis, it should be emphasized once again that there is no alternative to the mission of the Joint Special Envoy. He should enjoy the uninterrupted support of the international community for the work that he is doing.

With the adoption of resolution 2043 (2012) today, authorizing the deployment of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, another milestone has been reached in addressing the Syrian crisis through peaceful means. We believe that the United Nations Supervision Mission will be instrumental in monitoring the cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties and in monitoring and supporting the full implementation of the Joint Special Envoy’s six-point proposal. It is very important that the resolution adopted today once again reaffirms the strong commitment of the Security Council to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria.

Azerbaijan voted in favour of today’s resolution with the hope that its adoption will contribute to ongoing efforts aimed at ending violence and human rights violations, facilitating a dialogue, overcoming the crisis and sustaining the progress achieved on the ground.

Mr. Sangqu (South Africa): Following the adoption of resolution 2042 (2012), a week ago, South Africa welcomes the acceptance by the Syrian Government of the advance team of the observer mission and its rapid deployment on the ground. We are pleased to note from the letter of the Secretary-General (S/2012/238) that, despite some challenges, the advance team has enjoyed freedom of movement and has not observed major military concentrations or conflict.

We welcome the news that the advance team has been able to visit key hotspots of the conflict, including Homs, and that it has observed calm and an end to major hostilities. The deployment of the advance team has already proved to be a calming influence, as violence has decreased with its presence. The marked decrease in violence should now be sustained. We emphasize that there is an urgent need for the violence to cease and for all parties to comply with all aspects of the six-point proposal put forward by Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan.

In view of the Secretary-General’s statement that a supervision mission will be important to sustain peace and a meaningful political process in the country, we welcome the unanimous adoption of resolution 2043 (2012) by the Council today, thereby providing for the expeditious deployment of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). We urge all sides to help assure UNSMIS’s effective operation by facilitating its work and guaranteeing the safety of its personnel. Its deployment will be important for ensuring that Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point plan is implemented; it will also play a crucial role in efforts towards the goal of ensuring that all sides commit to a peaceful dialogue, designed to promote an all-inclusive negotiation process leading to a political outcome that responds to the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.

Finally, it is equally important that all members of the international community give this resolution and the Annan plan the chance to succeed, and that they uphold and respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, as well as the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

Mr. Li Baodong (China) (spoke in Chinese): China was a sponsor of resolution 2043 (2012), which we have just adopted. China has always maintained that Syria’s independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity — as well as the choice and will of the Syrian people — should be respected. We have always supported and are actively committed to promoting a just, peaceful and proper settlement of the Syrian crisis through political dialogue. The good offices of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan constitute a practical way out and an important channel through which to steer a political settlement of the crisis, and he has made positive and significant progress. We urge all parties, including the Syrian Government and the opposition, to cooperate fully with his efforts in order to create the conditions for launching a Syrian-led, inclusive political process.

We also call on the international community to maintain its firm support for Mr. Annan’s efforts and to help consolidate the results achieved so far. We are strongly opposed to any words or deeds that may create difficulties for Mr. Annan in his work. The immediate and full deployment of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) is critical to solidifying Mr. Annan’s progress and promoting the full implementation of his six-point proposal. We hope that the Supervision Mission will fully respect Syria’s sovereignty and dignity, act strictly in accordance with what the Security Council has authorized, adhere to the principles of neutrality, objectivity and impartiality, and play an active and constructive role in pushing for a sustained cessation of violence in Syria. We also call on the Syrian Government and other relevant parties to support and cooperate with UNSMIS.

Mr. Rosenthal (Guatemala) (spoke in Spanish): Exactly one week ago, Guatemala voted to adopt resolution 2042 (2012). In spite of the fact that not all the conditions laid down in that resolution have been met before the next step is taken, today we again voted to adopt the new resolution, 2043 (2012). We did so on the recommendation of the Secretary-General and of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, and in order to be consistent with the position we have taken on the events in Syria since their beginning.

While we share the scepticism expressed by various members of the Council regarding the commitment of the Government of Syria to complying with all six points in the Special Envoy’s proposal — points that the Government has committed to — we believe that the best course of action is to give the Government and the members of the opposition the benefit of the doubt, and to trust that the presence of United Nations observers on the ground will make a genuine difference to the capacity of the United Nations and the League of Arab States to help find a way out of this crisis.

We should remember that while the task at hand is to put an immediate end to the violence, a lasting solution requires negotiations among every sector of Syrian society to reach a peaceful agreement characterized by inclusive democratization and a respect for human rights. That is a noble objective, and we believe that it is worth taking this chance to see it fulfilled — perhaps the last chance of avoiding far worse evils.

Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri (India): Let me begin by thanking the Russian delegation for introducing the draft resolution that the Security Council has adopted unanimously today as resolution 2043 (2012). It is a significant step in the Council’s collective support for the efforts of the Joint Special Envoy, Mr. Kofi Annan.

It is a matter for satisfaction that Mr. Annan’s efforts over the past seven weeks have resulted in an improvement in the situation in Syria. Although there have been reports of violations, the ceasefire that came into force on 12 April has been observed by all parties in a large part of Syria. Obviously, there is a need to sustain the gains made so far. That should be facilitated by the expeditious deployment of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), authorized by today’s resolution.

That resolution is also an appeal to all parties to walk back from violence, so that impartial supervision and monitoring of the ceasefire can contribute to the parties’ observing and upholding their commitment. We voted in favour of resolution 2043 (2012) with the expectation that UNSMIS will implement its mandate impartially, objectively and fairly, and will help the Syrian parties build on the ceasefire and begin an inclusive, Syrian-led political process that will meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. For the Annan plan to succeed, all parties must implement their respective commitments under the six-point proposal. We note that the preliminary understanding signed on 19 April by the Syrian Government and the United Nations sets out clear conditions that have to be met by the Government and the armed opposition groups. We hope that all parties, including the opposition, will abide by those conditions.

While the Syrian parties cooperate with UNSMIS and the Joint Special Envoy, it is also essential that all countries interested in securing peace and stability in Syria lend their full support to Mr. Annan and UNSMIS, and that they refrain from any action that might cause further bloodshed. This will help to expeditiously resolve the Syrian crisis, as well as to ensure that it does not spill beyond Syria’s borders.

Mr. Tarar (Pakistan): Let me begin by thanking the Kingdom of Morocco for its condolences on yesterday’s tragic air crash in Pakistan.

Pakistan welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2043 (2012), which builds on resolution 2042 (2012) and earlier agreements of the Council. Today we have taken another significant step forward in the process that we hope will lead to a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Syria. It is also another reaffirmation of the Council’s united backing of the efforts of the Joint Special Envoy, Kofi Annan. The continuing spirit of accommodation exhibited by all Council members in this regard is highly appreciated.

With this resolution, the Council has authorized the establishment of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria to monitor the cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties, and to monitor and support the full implementation of the six-point proposal of the Special Envoy. By authorizing the Mission, we hope that the dynamics on the ground will change, resulting in a complete cessation of violence and creating conditions conducive to an inclusive, Syrian-owned and Syrian-led dialogue process. It would thus lead to achieving the overall objective of the Council of promoting a peaceful political solution to the situation in Syria, with full respect for its unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We call upon all sides in Syria to fully cooperate with the Mission so as to enable it to carry out its mandate effectively and in full safety and security. All sides, particularly the Government of Syria, must fulfil their responsibilities and commitments.

We also expect the Mission to undertake its work with the utmost neutrality and objectivity. At the same time, we would like to recall and caution that any steps or efforts that could undermine the work of the mission or the Special Envoy must be avoided.

Finally, let me reiterate Pakistan’s continued support for all efforts towards the fulfilment of our common objective of a peaceful political settlement of the Syrian crisis. It is that spirit that we decided to co sponsor the resolution.

Mr. Menan (Togo) (spoke in French): Togo, like the other members of the Security Council, welcomes the adoption of resolution 2043 (2012), which reflects the unity of action that has prevailed within the Council since we adopted resolution 2042 (2012) a week ago. By voting in favour of the resolution, Togo has reaffirmed its firm support for Mr. Annan’s mission as well as for the efforts made by the Secretary-General and all stakeholders striving for a swift return to peace in Syria.

Togo remains convinced that the achievement of a peaceful and prosperous Syria is first and foremost the responsibility of the Syrians themselves — presidential and opposition supporters alike. It is for that reason that Togo calls on all Syrians, from whatever side, to strive for a more effective implementation of the resolution that the Council has just adopted.

Ms. Rice (United States of America): I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of the United States.

The United States voted in favour of resolution 2043 (2012) authorizing the establishment of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, but we are sober about the risks, all the more so given the Al Assad regime’s long record of broken promises, deceit and disregard for the most basic standards of humanity.

The Syrian people, like us, know that the deployment of 300, or even 3,000, unarmed observers cannot on its own stop the Al-Assad regime from waging its barbaric campaign of violence against the Syrian people.

What can bring a halt to that murderous rampage is continued and intensified external pressure on the Al-Assad regime. The Syrian opposition has said that it welcomes the deployment of the United Nations 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. Even more so, the Syrian people expect, and deserve, that the Council will stand behind today’s resolution and ensure that swift and meaningful consequences are imposed should the regime continue to flout its obligations.

Since the adoption of resolution 2042 (2012), exactly one week ago, in which the Council unanimously called on the Syrian Government to honour all its obligations, including a sustained cessation of violence, the regime has unleashed yet another wave of horrific violence against its own people, resulting in the death of scores of Syrians daily. 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 in armour have not been withdrawn from cities and returned to barracks; protesters are still being intimidated and murdered by Government forces; the status of thousands of detainees remains unclear; and precious little progress has been made on the issue of humanitarian access, with an estimated 1 million civilians still in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

The Security Council has called upon the Government to take concrete action. The Syrian Government has ignored the Council. In the United States, our patience is exhausted. Let me be plain: no one should assume that the United States will agree to renew this Mission at the end of 90 days. If there is not a sustained cessation of violence, full freedom of movement for United Nations personnel and rapid, meaningful progress on other aspects — all other aspects — of the six-point plan, then we must all conclude that the Mission will have 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. We express our deep gratitude to the monitors who are now embarking on this unprecedented and risky mission. We should be under no illusions: they are going to be dependent for security on the very Government that is responsible for the main security threats.

They 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, and 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.

All of our experience with United Nations peacekeeping over the last 65 years teaches us that such missions require that there be a peace to keep in order for them to succeed.

The opposition has said that it wants and needs this Mission, hoping that the presence of the 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. If that hope does not materialize, however, the failure will be the Syrian Government’s, and it must be held accountable. And we must be prepared to do so, given the Al-Assad regime’s track record to date.

The United States strongly supports the full implementation of the Joint Special Envoy’s six-point plan. Yet let there be no doubt: we, our allies and others in this body are planning and preparing for those actions that will be required of all of us if the Al-Assad regime persists in the slaughter of the Syrian people.

I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.

I give the floor to the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Mr. Ja’afari (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic): I followed with great interest the statements made by my colleagues members of the Council, and I noticed that some of the statements calling on the Syrian Government to scrupulously implement the provisions of the resolution that has just been adopted are themselves not in consonance with those provisions, as they use — probably owing to a lack of awareness — the term “regime” in referring to the Syrian Government. I studied the resolution but I did not come across the term “regime” therein. I saw the words “Syrian Government”.

Yesterday morning, I met with the Secretary-General and his senior aides. I appealed to him to continue his good offices, as mandated of him by the Charter, and to further engage positively in the efforts being made to guarantee the desired national political solution, with Syrian leadership. That is crux of the Annan plan. I should now like to take this opportunity to address to the Council the same appeal I addressed to the Secretary-General yesterday morning.

Since the beginning of the crisis, the Syrian Government has been open to any sincere and impartial efforts and initiatives to help it emerge from the current crisis affecting the Syrian Government, State and people, while preserving its sovereignty without prejudice to the independent national resolution of the crisis and guaranteeing its stability and security.

My country has demonstrated considerable cooperation and commitment vis-à-vis the efforts of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, based on our interest in achieving a peaceful political solution to the Syrian crisis. The Syrian Government has implemented the part of the Annan plan relating to its responsibilities. We continue to inform the Special Envoy regularly in writing of the measures being taken in that regard on a daily basis, including the release of a number of the detainees who were not responsible for crimes, the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the affected regions in cooperation with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the granting of visas to a great many members of the media — over 600 all told.

I am pleased to announce today, on behalf of my country’s Government, that Syria has informed Mr. Annan today of its implementation of article 2 of the plan, as well as all of the subsidiary paragraphs of that article, namely, (a), (b) and (c).

The forces responsible for maintaining public order and the police forces will ensure the maintenance of security, order and law and will exercise the utmost degree of restraint. They will be prepared, as the Governments of the countries represented here and those of any State of the world would be, to carry out their duties in responding to armed terrorist groups if they continue to attack citizens, Government forces and public and private property and if they continue to commit acts of violence. Our national army and armed forces will remain prepared to defend our homeland’s territory and borders against any aggression, ensuring the protection of strategic centres and sites such as ports, airports, international routes, oil refineries and infrastructure facilities.

The dispatching of impartial monitors to the Syrian Arab Republic was a basic Syrian demand, which stems from a position of strength and self-confidence. The motive behind that demand is the fact that global public opinion is well aware of the reality of the situation and monitors the crimes of armed terrorist groups, disregarding political and media misinformation.

That Syrian position was initially demonstrated by the reception of the team of the Arab League monitors, which submitted an objective report documenting the crimes of terrorists against our people and institutions. This prompted the Governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia to withdraw their monitors, which led to the termination of the mission, fully ignoring the mission’s report.

My Government has reiterated once again its willingness to cooperate and its openness by recently signing, in Damascus, the preliminary agreement that governs the work of the United Nations Supervision Mission in the Syrian Arab Republic in the framework of respecting Syrian sovereignty and guaranteeing the commitment of all parties. Our Government is ready to sign the protocol regulating the deployment of the United Nations monitors when the United Nations is ready to do so, on the basis of the preliminary agreement.

My country has a vested interest in the success of the work of the Mission, given our keenness to achieve stability, safety and security for our country and our citizens. We would like to state here that the monitors must carry out their work on the basis of objectivity, impartiality and professionalism.

Some parties have responded to this clear-cut commitment by the Syrian Government by carrying out a hysterical campaign of questioning, which clearly reveals their bad intentions in principle towards the Syrian Arab Republic, its homeland and its people. This demonstrates that they are frustrated by the initial return of stability and calm to Syria.

Armed terrorist groups met that Syrian commitment to the Annan plan with a lengthy series of violations that undermine the Annan plan. They have escalated their terrorist acts, their killings of civilians and the forces of public order, and their destruction of public and private property. We have regularly provided Mr. Annan, the Secretary-General and the President of the Council with documented information on the total number of violations perpetrated by the armed groups since the 12 April ceasefire went into effect. As of yesterday, those violations now total 593 in number.

In that regard, we are gravely concerned about the curious ongoing disregard for the actions of those groups, which coincides with a systemic political misinformation campaign demonizing the Syrian authorities and the Syrian army and accusing the Syrian State of the crimes perpetrated by those groups by turning the facts on their heads while saying nothing about the crimes perpetrated by them.

All of that is designed to bring about the failure of the Annan plan and to hold Syrian authorities responsible for that failure, with a view to initiating military action under humanitarian pretexts. That is similar to the mendacious allegations that led to the destruction of Libyan infrastructure and the assassination of 150,000 civilians at the hands of NATO forces with the participation of Qatar.

Once again, Syria would like to reiterate its hope that Mr. Annan and the Security Council will address the crisis in a comprehensive manner, given the need to redouble efforts to achieve commitments by the armed groups and those standing behind them so that violence will cease.

The Syrian Government’s support for the Annan mission is not enough to bring about its success. In word and deed, international, regional, Arab and other groups must cease to fund, arm and train the armed groups, desist from encouraging them to continue their terrorist acts and refrain from inciting the opposition to reject the comprehensive national dialogue.

Some of those who predict the failure of the Annan plan are doing their best to ensure that it does. A case in point is the statement made by the Emir of Qatar. Two days after the adoption of resolution 2042 (2012), he stated that the chance of the Annan plan succeeding did not exceed 3 per cent.

Creating parallel tracks to the Annan plan would undermine it and squander the efforts made to achieve a peaceful solution to the crisis. That includes the conferences attended by a number of States in Tunis, Istanbul and Paris, among others, at which alternative plans outside international legitimacy were sanctioned on the arming of the opposition and imposing sanctions, while rejecting peaceful solutions. Depriving the Syrian people of stability and development constituted the considerable triumph to which they aspire.

It is paradoxical that, following Syria’s openness in dealing with the initiative, yet another parallel conference has been held to exacerbate the crisis, take the solution out of the political framework and undermine any positive efforts to stop the bloodshed.

I would like to emphasize an absolute truth: we reject interference in our internal affairs. We are keen to protect the sovereignty of our homeland while pressing ahead with the process of reform and comprehensive national dialogue, and we reject any type of dependency, trusteeship and direct or indirect occupation. Syrians are well aware that the forces that bear grudges against their country target all Syrians, trading on their suffering and legitimate aspirations in a bloody stock market in order to protect the interests of Israel, its defenders and allies.

On this occasion, the Ambassador of Germany said that his country is eager to protect minorities in Syria. In a previous statement, I said that there are no minorities or majorities in Syria, just one Syrian people proud of its religious and cultural diversity. That people does not want any radical wahabi or salafist factions to penetrate its ranks vis-à-vis terrorist trends propagated by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The President: There are no more names inscribed on the list of speakers. The Security Council has thus concluded the present state of its consideration of the item on its agenda.

The meeting rose at 12.25 p.m.

Resolution 2043 (2012)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 6756th meeting, on 21 April 2012

The Security Council,

Recalling its Resolution 2042 (2012), as well as its Presidential Statements of 3 August 2011, 21 March 2012 and 5 April 2012, and also recalling all relevant resolutions of the General Assembly,

Reaffirming its support to the Joint Special Envoy for the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan, and his work, following General Assembly resolution A/RES/66/253 of 16 February 2012 and relevant resolutions of the League of Arab States,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter,

Condemning the widespread violations of human rights by the Syrian authorities, as well as any human rights abuses by armed groups, recalling that those responsible shall be held accountable, and expressing its profound regret at the death of many thousands of people in Syria,

Expressing its appreciation of the significant efforts that have been made by the States bordering Syria to assist Syrians who have fled across Syria’s borders as a consequence of the violence, and requesting UNHCR to provide assistance as requested by member states receiving these displaced persons,

Expressing also its appreciation of the humanitarian assistance that has been provided to Syria by other States,

Noting the Syrian government’s commitment on 25 March 2012 to implement the six-point proposal of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, and to implement urgently and visibly its commitments, as it agreed to do in its communication to the Envoy of 1 April 2012, to (a) cease troop movements towards population centres, (b) cease all use of heavy weapons in such centres, and (c) begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres, and to implement these in their entirety by no later than 10 April 2012, and noting also the Syrian opposition’s expressed commitment to respect the cessation of violence, provided the government does so,

Expressing concern over ongoing violence and reports of casualties which have escalated again in recent days, following the Envoy’s assessment of 12 April 2012 that the parties appeared to be observing a cessation of fire and that the Syrian government had started to implement its commitments, and noting that the cessation of armed violence in all its forms is therefore clearly incomplete,

Supporting the Envoy’s call for an immediate and visible implementation by the Syrian government of all elements of the Envoy’s six-point proposal in their entirety to achieve a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties,

Taking note of the assessment by the Secretary-General that a United Nations monitoring mission deployed quickly when the conditions are conducive with a clear mandate, the requisite capacities, and the appropriate conditions of operation would greatly contribute to observing and upholding the commitment of the parties to a cessation of armed violence in all its forms and to supporting the implementation of the six-point plan,

Noting the 19 April 2012 Preliminary Understanding (S/2012/250) agreed between the Syrian Arab Republic and the United Nations which provides a basis for a protocol governing the Advance Team and, upon its deployment, the UN supervision mechanism,

Having considered the Secretary-General’s letter addressed to the President of Security Council(S/2012/238),

1. Reaffirms its full support for and calls for the urgent, comprehensive, and immediate implementation of all elements of the Envoy’s six-point proposal as annexed to resolution 2042 (2012) aimed at bringing an immediate end to all violence and human rights violations, securing humanitarian access and facilitating a Syrian-led political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations, ethnicities or beliefs, including through commencing a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition;

2. Calls upon the Syrian government to implement visibly its commitments in their entirety, as it agreed to do in the Preliminary Understanding and as stipulated in resolution 2042 (2012), to (a) cease troop movements towards population centres, (b) cease all use of heavy weapons in such centres, (c) complete pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres, as well as to withdraw its troops and heavy weapons from population centres to their barracks or temporary deployment places to facilitate a sustained cessation of violence;

3. Calls upon all parties in Syria, including the opposition, immediately to cease all armed violence in all its forms;

4. Calls upon the Syrian armed opposition groups and relevant elements to respect relevant provisions of the Preliminary Understanding;

5. Decides to establish for an initial period of 90 days a United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) under the command of a Chief Military Observer, comprising an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers as well as an appropriate civilian component as required by the Mission to fulfil its mandate, and decides further that the Mission shall be deployed expeditiously subject to assessment by the Secretary-General of relevant developments on the ground, including the consolidation of the cessation of violence;

6. Decides also that the mandate of the Mission shall be to monitor a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties and to monitor and support the full implementation of the Envoy’s six-point proposal;

7. Requests that the Secretary-General and the Syrian government without delay conclude a Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA), taking into consideration General Assembly resolution 58/82 on the scope of legal protection under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, and notes the agreement between the Syrian government and the United Nations that, pending the conclusion of such an agreement, the model SOFA agreement of 9 October 1990 (A/45/594) shall apply provisionally;

8. Calls upon the Syrian government to ensure the effective operation of UNSMIS by: facilitating the expeditious and unhindered deployment of its personnel and capabilities as required to fulfil its mandate; ensuring its full, unimpeded, and immediate freedom of movement and access as necessary to fulfil its mandate, underlining in this regard the need for the Syrian government and the United Nations to agree rapidly on appropriate air transportation assets for UNSMIS; allowing its unobstructed communications; and allowing it to freely and privately communicate with individuals throughout Syria without retaliation against any person as a result of interaction with UNSMIS;

9. Calls upon the parties to guarantee the safety of UNSMIS personnel without prejudice to its freedom of movement and access, and stresses that the primary responsibility in this regard lies with the Syrian authorities;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to report immediately to the Security Council any obstructions to the effective operation of UNSMIS by any party;

11. Reiterates its call for the Syrian authorities to allow immediate, full and unimpeded access of humanitarian personnel to all populations in need of assistance, in accordance with international law and guiding principles of humanitarian assistance and calls upon all parties in Syria, in particular the Syrian authorities, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and relevant humanitarian organizations to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance;

12. Invites all Member States to consider making appropriate contributions to UNSMIS as requested by the Secretary-General;

13. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution within 15 days of its adoption and every 15 days thereafter, and also to submit, as necessary, to the Council proposals for possible adjustments to the UNSMIS mandate;

14. Expresses its intention to assess the implementation of this resolution and to consider further steps as appropriate;

15. Decides to remain seized of the matter.