Security Council Press Statement on Houla massacre: Empty words, without significance—Obama’s Debacle in Syria — Update #46 (May 28)

See

UN News Centre, “Security Council strongly condemns massacre of civilians in Syria,” May 27, 2012.

The text of the Security Council Press Statement of May 27, 2012 stated the following:

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Agshin Mehdiyev (Azerbaijan):

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the killings, confirmed by United Nations observers, of dozens of men, women and children and the wounding of hundreds more in the village of El-Houleh, near Homs, in attacks that involved a series of Government artillery and tank shellings on a residential neighbourhood. The members of the Security Council also condemned the killing of civilians by shooting at close range and by severe physical abuse. The members of the Security Council extended their profound sympathies and sincere condolences to the families of the victims, and underscored their grave concern about the situation of civilians in Syria.

Such outrageous use of force against civilian population constitutes a violation of applicable international law and of the commitments of the Syrian Government under United Nations Security Council resolutions 2042 (2012) and 2043 (2012) to cease violence in all its forms, including the cessation of use of heavy weapons in population centres. The members of the Security Council reiterated that all violence in all its forms by all parties must cease. Those responsible for acts of violence must be held accountable. The members of the Security Council requested the Secretary-General, with the involvement of UNSMIS [United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria], to continue to investigate these attacks and report the findings to the Security Council.

The members of the Security Council demanded that the Government of Syria immediately cease the use of heavy weapons in population centres and immediately pull back its troops and its heavy weapons from in and around population centres and return them to their barracks.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support to the efforts of the Joint Special Envoy for the implementation of his six-point plan in its entirety and requested him to convey in the clearest terms to the Syrian parties, and in particular the Syrian Government, the demands of the Security Council.

With Putin using Medvedev to play Obama like a fool, these meaningless words–meaningless because they have no legal effect and do not change the situation on the ground–should help postpone military actiom, allowing al Assad to gain a couple of more months to commit atrocities against the opposition as he attempts to exterminate them.

The Trenchant Observer

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"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.