Arab nations to push UN General Assembly for resolution on Syria
After the UN Security Council failed to pass a resolution to pressure Assad last week, Arab nations have decided to push for one by the General Assembly.
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"Without unity, there will be more bloodshed. More deadlock means more dead," Ban said. "That is why, here in the heart of a healing Bosnia and Herzegovina, I make a plea to the world: Do not delay. Come together. Act. Act now to stop the slaughter in Syria."Skip to next paragraph
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Ban said other countries intervened in Libya and the Ivory Coast to stop widespread killing there, but failed during the Bosnian war to prevent Bosnian Serbs from killing more than 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks in Srebrenica while the town was officially under U.N. protection.
"Quite simply, we must do better in seeing atrocities coming and telling it like it is. We cannot take refuge behind strong words and weak action," he said.
Ban had called for stepped up pressure on the Syrian government but he did not say exactly what the international community should do now.
Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, but they can reflect and impact global opinion.
U.N. diplomats said Arab League ministers decided to seek a strong General Assembly resolution at a meeting last weekend.
The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the text has not been circulated, said it will likely include language on the chemical weapons threat, an endorsement of Annan's peace plan and the guidelines for a political transition adopted at a conference in Geneva last month, a demand to allow humanitarian workers access to the entire country, and possibly a call for other countries to follow Arab League sanctions.
Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari accused the Saudis and Qataris of interfering militarily, financially and politically in Syria and shedding "crocodile tears over the suffering of the Syrian people."
He also accused them of "conspiring" against Annan's peace plan and the guidelines for a political transition in order to escalate tensions against Syria and its interests in the General Assembly after they failed to do so in the Security Council.
The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in February for a resolution backing an Arab League plan calling for Assad to hand power to his vice president and immediately stop the bloody crackdown.