Lakhdar Brahimi briefs Security Council; Impasse continues; No new ideas—Obama’s Debacle in Syria — Update #87 (September 25)

Remarks at Media Stakeout Outside Security Council by Guido Westerwelle, German Foreign Minister, September 24, 2012

SC President, Guido Westerwelle (Germany) on Syria – Security Council Media Stakeout, 24 Sep 2012 (video link)– Informal comments to the media by H. E. Mr. Guido Westerwelle, Foreign Minister of Germany and the Security Council President for September on the situation in Syria. [English and German]

Remarks at Media Stakeout Outside Security Council by Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, and of Peter Wittig, President of the U.N. Security Council, September 24, 2012.

SC President, Peter Wittig (Germany) and Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on Syria – Security Council Media Stakeout (24 September 2012) – 24 Sep 2012 (video link)– Informal comments to the media by H. E. Mr. Peter Wittig, Permanent Representative of Germany to the UN and Security Council President and by Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi.


Judging from Brahimi’s comments, he plans to settle in for a long period of time as Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, enjoying the perquisites of the 17 member staff set up in Geneva and his tax-free salary of $189,000 per year.

On the positive side, he didn’t say much, though he has begun to hold out false hopes for a breakthrough, just as Kofi Annan did, saying he expected developments that would make an “opening” possible in the not too distant future.


1. Brahimi’s mission, and his 17-member office in Geneva, should be ended at the earliest opportunity.

2. The Security Council should set up a special working group of the Permanent Members of the Council to meet weekly to roll up their sleeves and work together to find a solution to the impasse in the Security Council. How do Russia and China intend to stop the civil war and the ongoing commission of crimes against humanity and war crimes by the government of Syria? What do they propose beyond watching the slaughter unfold as extremist elements of the armed opposition gain momentum?

Brahimi’s talk of pursuing Kofi Annan’s six-point plan should send all the permanent representatives to the Security Council running for the exits, or running to ensure that Brahimi exits at an early date.

We’ve already done this.  We’ve been there.  30,000 Syrians have died while the Security Council failed to deal with the killing in Syria, and Kofi Annan misled the world with false hopes and illusory peace plans, “castles in the sky” lacking any plan to force al-Assad to stop his crimes.  Diplomacy focused on the Security Council has failed.

Enough is enough.  We don’t need to do this again.  What we need to do is to stop the killing.  Now.  By military action outside the framework of the Security Council,  if that is what is required.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and 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. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , 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, Dr. Rowles 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. Dr. Rowles 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.=LL.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, Dr. Rowles 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 some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.