China: Western-backed UNSC draft resolution ‘seriously problematic’ with ‘uneven content’
July 19, 2012 (TSR) – The draft resolution proposed by Western countries is “seriously problematic”, with uneven content that is intended to put pressure on only one party in Syria, China’s permanent representative to the UN Li Baodong said here Thursday after exercising veto over the draft resolution.
“Experience has proven that such practice would not help resolve the Syrian issue, but instead would only derail the issue from the track of political settlement,” Li said, adding “It will not only further aggravate the turmoil, but also result in spillover of the problem to other countries in the region, undermine regional peace and stability, and ultimately impair the interests of the people in Syria and the region at large.”
China's U.N. Ambassador Li Baodong speaks during a Security Council meeting, July 19.2012
Russia and China, two permanent members of the UN Security Council, wielded veto power over a Western-proposed draft resolution, which demands extension of the Untied Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) for a period of 45 days, and threatens non-military sanctions by quoting Chapter VII of the UN Charter if the Syrian government fails to pull out troops and heavy weapons from populated areas.
The unadopted resolution received eleven votes in favor, two against and two abstentions.
Li stressed that the draft resolution would “seriously erode international trust and cooperation” on the Syrian issue.
According to Li, the mediation efforts by UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan is “an important and realistic way” out for political solution of the Syrian issue. And the communique adopted by a foreign ministers’ meeting of Action Group on Syria forged consensus among major parties and opened a new window of opportunity for appropriate settlement of the Syrian crisis.
“At present, Annan’s efforts to implement the outcome of the meeting are at a critical juncture,” Li said. “The draft resolution, however, fundamentally violated the consensus reached at the Geneva meeting, and has seriously disrupted the new round of mediation efforts made by Annan.”
Moreover, Li said the draft resolution jeopardizes the unity of the Security Council.
During the consultations, the sponsoring countries did not show political will of cooperation. Instead, they were too rigid and arrogant to listen to the reasonable and core concerns of other countries, and to make revisions on the text, he said.
“It is even more regrettable that, under circumstances when parties were still seriously divided and there was still enough time for continued consultation, the sponsoring countries refused to heed the call of China, some other Security Council members and Special Envoy Annan for further consultation until a text acceptable to all parties is formed, and pressed for a vote on the draft resolution,” he told the Council.
“China is strongly opposed to such practice,” Li noted.
Responding to accusations against China by western powers, Li noted that China has all along participated in the consultations ” in a positive and constructive” manner, committed itself to achieving ceasefire in Syria, implementing Geneva communique and relevant Security Council resolutions, worked hard for smooth extension of the mandate of UNSMIS, and supported Annan’s mediation efforts.
In contrast, a few countries have, from the very beginning, adopted a negative attitude toward Annan’s mediation and UNSMIS. Over the past few months, they have been spreading words about the futility and failure of Annan’s mediation and the mission
“This time, they repeated their old trick by setting preconditions and obstacles for the extension of UNSMIS, and pegged it to invoking of Chapter VII of the UN Charter and threat of sanctions, in an attempt to change, even repudiate the hard-won consensus reached by the Action Group during the Geneva meeting” Li said.
“We can’t help but question their willingness to see extension of UNSMIS, or early settlement of the Syrian crisis through a Syria-led political process. We urge these countries to earnestly reflect on their policy and behavior, and immediately return to the right track,” he said.
Regarding China’s position on the Syrian issue, the ambassador reiterated that China has no self interest in the Syrian issue.
“We have all along maintained that the prospect and destiny of Syria should be independently determined by the Syrian people, rather than imposed by outside forces. We believe the Syrian issue must be resolved through political means, and military means would go nowhere,” Li said.
“This is China’s consistent position on international affairs. It is not targeted at a particular incident or at a certain time. Our purpose is to safeguard the interests of the Syrian people and Arab countries, the interests of all countries, the small and medium-sized countries in particular, the role and authority of the United Nations and its Security Council, as well as the basic norms governing international relations,” he added.