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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syria: Security Council authorizes deployment of advance military observer team

14 April 2012 – The Security Council today authorized the sending of an advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers to Syria to report on the implementation of a full cessation of armed violence, pending the deployment of a United Nations supervision mission that will be tasked with monitoring the ceasefire.

In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council called on all parties to guarantee the safety of the advance team, guarantee its freedom of movement and access, stressing that the primary responsibility in that regard lies with the Syrian authorities.

The 15-member UN body also requested the Secretary-General to immediately report to the Council any obstructions to the work of team by any party.

The Council took note of the assessment of the Joint Special Envoy of the UN and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan, that as of 12 April, the Syrian parties appeared to be observing a cessation of fire, and that the Syrian Government had started to implement its commitments.

The Government also appeared to be supporting Mr. Annan's call for an immediate and visible implementation of all elements of his six-point proposal in their entirety to achieve a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties.

Mr. Annan's six-point proposal calls for an end to violence, access for humanitarian agencies to provide relief to those in need, the release of detainees, and the start of inclusive political dialogue that takes into account the aspirations of the Syrian people.

The Council reiterated its call to Syrian authorities to allow immediate, full and unimpeded access of humanitarian personnel to all populations in need of assistance, in accordance with international law and the guiding principles of humanitarian assistance.

It also urged all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, to cooperate fully with the UN and relevant humanitarian organizations to facilitate the provision of relief.

The Council requested the Secretary-General to report to it on the implementation of today's resolution by 19 April, and expressed its intention to assess the implementation and “to consider further steps as appropriate.”

Member of the Council expressed their intention, subject to a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties, to establish immediately, after consultations between the Secretary-General and the Syrian Government, a UN supervision mission in Syria to monitor a cessation of armed violence by all parties. The supervision mission will be authorized on the basis of a formal proposal from the Secretary-General, which the Security Council requested to receive not later than 18 April.

The Council called on the Syrian authorities to ensure the effective operation of the supervision mission, including its advance team, by facilitating the expeditious and unhindered deployment of its personnel and capabilities as required; ensuring unimpeded, and immediate freedom of movement and access to fulfil its mandate; allowing its unobstructed communications; and allowing it to freely communicate with individuals throughout Syria without retaliation against any person as a result of interaction with the mission.

The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 8,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.



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