U.N. Human Rights Council adopts June 1 resolution condemning Syria (41-3-2), orders inquiry into Houla (Houleh) massacre (with video links)—Obama’s Debacle in Syria — Update #48 (June 5)

Following is the final version of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on the massacre in Syria, adopted on June 1 at an emergency session. The vote was 41 in favor, 3 against (Russia, China, Cuba), 2 abstentions (Ecuador, Uganda), with the Philippines absent.

Human Rights Council
Nineteenth special session
1 June 2012
Djibouti, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey*, United States of America: draft resolution
S-19/… The deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the recent killings in El-Houleh
The Human Rights Council,
Recalling General Assembly resolutions 66/176 of 19 December 2011 and 66/253 of 16 February 2012, Human Rights Council resolutions S-16/1 of 29 April 2011, S-17/1 of 22 August 2011, S-18/1 of 2 December 2011, 19/1 of 1 March 2012 and 19/22 of 23 March 2012, and Security Council resolutions 2042 (2012) of 14 April 2012 and 2043 (2012) of 21 April 2012,
Condemning 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 the wanton killing of civilians by shooting at close range and by severe physical abuse by pro-regime elements and a series of Government artillery and tank shellings of a residential neighbourhood, and reiterating that all violence in all its forms by all parties must cease,
Recalling that the statement made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 27 May 2012 that the atrocities in El-Houleh may amount to crimes against humanity and noting her repeated encouragement to the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court,
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. Condemns in the strongest possible terms such an outrageous use of force against the civilian population, which constitutes a violation of applicable international law and of the commitment of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, under Security
Council resolutions 2042 (2012) and 2043 (2012), to cease violence in all its forms, including the cessation of the use of heavy weapons in population centres;
2. Condemns in the harshest terms the outrageous killing of forty-nine children, all under the age of 10;
3. Deplores that the recent killings in El-Houleh occurred in a context of continued human rights violations in the Syrian Arab Republic, including ongoing arbitrary detentions, hindered access for the media and restrictions of the right to peaceful assembly;
4. Emphasizes the continued failure of the Syrian authorities to protect and promote the rights of all Syrians, including through repeated and systematic violations of human rights;
5. Reiterates its urgent call upon the Syrian authorities to put an immediate end to all violence and all human rights violations, and to meet their responsibility to protect their populations;
6. Calls once again upon the Syrian authorities to immediately allow United Nations human rights mechanisms and missions full and unfettered access and freedom of movement within the Syrian Arab Republic;
7. Stresses the need to conduct an international, transparent, independent and prompt investigation into violations of international law with a view to hold to account those responsible for widespread, systematic and gross human rights violations, including those violations that may amount to crimes against humanity;
8. Requests the commission of inquiry to urgently conduct a comprehensive, independent and unfettered special inquiry, consistent with international standards, into the events in El-Houleh, and if possible to publicly identify those who appear responsible for these atrocities, and to preserve the evidence of crimes for possible criminal prosecutions or a future justice process, with a view to hold to account those responsible; and also requests the commission to provide a full report of the findings of its special inquiry to the Human Rights Council at its twentieth session, and to coordinate as appropriate with relevant UN mechanisms;
9. Calls upon the Syrian authorities to cooperate fully with the commission of inquiry and to accord it full and unfettered access to the Syrian Arab Republic to conduct its work;
10. Calls upon all States Members of the United Nations to assist the commission of inquiry in its mission by providing the support necessary for it to achieve its objectives, including, but not limited to, Member States calling upon the Syrian authorities to grant the commission the access required to conduct its work;
11. Calls upon the Syrian authorities to grant immediate, unimpeded and full access of humanitarian organizations to all areas of the Syrian Arab Republic in order to allow them to provide relief and humanitarian assistance, and calls on all sides to respect the safety of humanitarian workers;
12. Requests the cooperation, as appropriate, of other relevant United Nations bodies with the commission of inquiry to carry out its mission, and requests the assistance of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretary-General in this regard;
13. Calls for the urgent, comprehensive and immediate implementation of all elements of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States six-point proposal as annexed to Security Council resolution 2042 without any preconditi0ns;
14. Invites the Joint Special Envoy for the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan, to provide a briefing to the Human Rights Council at its twentieth session;
14. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

–Final resolution on Syria as adopted at UN emergency session
Published by UN Watch, June 1, 2012 [in Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and Syria].

Russia’s negative vote is worth noting, along with that of China. Video links to the Closing Statements of the President of the Human Rights Council and of the representatives of China and Russia follow below.

Statements by Delegates and Vote

See the video of the Remarks by Ms. Laura Dupuy Lasserre, President of the Human Rights Council, and other delegates here.

Closing Remarks, 19th Special Session, Human Rights Council, 01 June 2012Closing Remarks by Ms. Laura Dupuy Lasserre, President of Human Rights Council, and other delegates – 19th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the “Deteriorating human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and the recent killings in El-Houleh”.

Running time: 00:01:00
Language(s) available:
•English
•Spanish

China’s Negative Vote

See the video of the Chinese explanation of its vote against the resolution here.

China, Vote on Resolution, 19th Special Session, Human Rights Council
01 June 2012
China, Vote on Draft Resolution A/HRC/S-18/L.1 – 19th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the “Deteriorating human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and the recent killings in El-Houleh”.

Running time: 00:03:24
Language(s) available:
•English
•Chinese

Russia’s Negative Vote

See the video of the Russian explanation of its vote against the resolution here.

Russia, Vote on Resolution, 19th Special Session, Human Rights Council
01 June 2012
Russian Federation, Vote on Draft Resolution A/HRC/S-18/L.1 – 19th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the “Deteriorating human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and the recent killings in El-Houleh”.

Running time: 00:03:49
Language(s) available:
•English
•Russian

Russia and China are totally isolated on the issue of Syria. They will pay a heavy price over time, in the memories of the populations of the countries that voted in favor of this resolution.

20 or 50 years from now, the world will recall how Russia and China shamelessly opposed effective action by the Security Council to halt the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, and even opposed this resolution by the Human Rights Council, which was supported by virtually the entire world.

The Trenchant Observer

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