As the Security Council continues to discuss a draft resolution that would extend the soon-to-expire UN supervision mission to Syria, prominent opposition groups say the new text needs to threaten the Assad regime with sanctions if it fails to end military operations.
“Annan’s plan has failed to achieve any of its objectives and the regime maintains its appalling level of violence,“ Dr. Bassma Kodmani, Head of Foreign Relations in the SNC, told reporters in a press conference Tuesday. “We believe the absence of enforcement mechanisms and the lack of any stipulation of consequences for the regime’s non compliance renders Annan’s plan ineffective in its current form.”
The United Kingdom proposed a draft resolution, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, that would renew the UNSMIS mandate for 45 days and would impose sanctions on the Syrian government if it did not withdraw heavy weaponry from urban centers within 10 days.
While Russia supports the extension of the UN supervision mission, its has repeatedly opposed any calls for a resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The Security Council is expected to vote before the end of the week.
“We’ve had a very good discussion with the President, discussing the situation and the crisis in Syria, focusing on what measures need to be taken to end the violence and the killing and how we move on to the political transition,” UN Special Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan told reporters after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Hopefully, the Council will come together in a united manner and press ahead in search of peace.”
The UN mission’s mandate in Syria is set to expire July 20. Russia and China have already used their veto twice, in October 2011 and February 2012, to block Security Council resolutions against the Assad regime.
“Russia has an important role to play but we can’t continue to hit the Russian wall and say that the international community can’t do anything,” Syrian National Council representative Dr. Bassma Kodmani said. “We need to go forward however we can.”