Plus, the Pindo, Brit & Ukropean reps left the room when the Syrian rep took the floor – RB
Russia vetoes UNSCR to stop bombing of Aleppo
Julian Borger, Graun, Oct 8 2016
Vitaly Churkin, currently in the chair of the UNSC, cast the veto on Saturday against the Franco-Spanish UNSCR that had demanded an end to all aerial bombardment and overflights of Aleppo by Russian and Syrian regime aircraft, a resumed ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian supplies to besieged population. China abstained, along with Angola. Venezuela voted with Russia against the resolution. A Russian draft was voted down with nine votes against and four in favour. The divisions in the council produced a heated but fruitless debate that saw some of the normal diplomatic niceties abandoned. Matthew Rycroft, the UK ambassador to the UN, said at the start of his remarks:
Normally I begin my statement with, ‘Thank you Mr President.’ I cannot do this today. This council cannot stand by while such misery is meted out on the people of Aleppo. And yet, thanks to you, Mr President, that is exactly what we are doing. Thanks to your actions today, Syrians will continue to lose their lives in Aleppo and beyond to Russian and Syrian bombing. Please stop now.
Pindo deputy ambassador David Pressman said:
One of us, perversely the president of council, is determined for the killing to continue, and is helping carry it out.
The Russian foreign ministry said the Franco-Spanish resolution distorted the real situation in Syria, and that a ban on aerial bombardment would provide cover to terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra and allies. De Mistura told the UNSC that the presence of roughly 1,000 Nusra fighters was being used as a pretext for the bombing of 275,000 people and that he had offered to personally escort the militant group out of the city to guarantee their safe passage. (Fails to mention that it was Nusra who refused this offer – RB). At the present rate of bombardment of eastern Aleppo, De Mistura said the city would be totally destroyed by December. Ban Ki-moon called it “worse than a slaughterhouse.” Louis Charbonneau of HRW said:
Russia has once again abused its veto privilege and sabotaged the UNSC, this time stonewalling efforts to stop the vicious assault on east Aleppo’s civilians. Today’s vote is a stark reminder of the urgent need for permanent members of the UNSC to shelve the veto in situations of mass atrocities, an idea supported by a vast majority of countries around the world. The ball is now in the court of the UNGA, which should feel compelled to hold an emergency meeting, demand an end to unlawful attacks on civilians in Aleppo, 100,000 of whom are children, and explore avenues for accountability.