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UN General Assembly to vote on Syria resolution

Other News Materials 1 August 2012 06:11
The UN General Assembly plans to vote on a new draft resolution that would prevent the use of chemical and biological weapons in Syria and also condemn the ongoing violence in 17-month conflict, the UN said Tuesday.
UN General Assembly to vote on Syria resolution

The UN General Assembly plans to vote on a new draft resolution that would prevent the use of chemical and biological weapons in Syria and also condemn the ongoing violence in 17-month conflict, the UN said Tuesday.

The assembly president, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar, decided to convene the body on Thursday at the request of Arab countries. Al-Nasser presided over Tuesday's discussion of the draft before calling for the session, dpa reported.

The draft was originally proposed by Saudi Arabia and is expected to draw strong support in the 193-nation General Assembly, though its resolutions would not be binding.

The resolution would demand that Syrian authorities "refrain from using, transferring, producing, developing or otherwise acquiring any chemical or biological weapons or any related material."

It would further call on the Syrian government "to meet their obligations and to account for and secure all chemical and biological weapons and any related material."

The draft also condemns the government's increased use of heavy weapons in populated areas.

Tanks, helicopters and heavy artillery have been used indiscriminately against Syrian civilians, the draft charges, while Syrian government forces have failed to return to barracks as demanded in international envoy Kofi Annan's six-point plan.

The draft supports a political transition toward democratic governance, which Annan's plan also includes.

The assembly is discussing the draft largely because of the UN Security Council's failure to act decisively to end the conflict in Syria. Russia and China vetoed a resolution condemning Syria, which was supported 11 of the 15 council members, on July 19.

If adopted, it would mark the second time this year that the General Assembly had passed a resolution on Syria. On February 19, the assembly adopted a resolution in a 137-12 vote condemning the violence in Syria. Russia and China were among the 12 countries voting against it.

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