The Third Committee of the U.N. General Assembly, tasked with social, humanitarian, and cultural missions, approved four draft resolutions on Tuesday targeting countries that have violated human rights, including Syria.
The resolution on the human rights situation in Syria received received 116 votes in favor, 15 against and with 49 abstentions. It targeted the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime and by Islamic State militants and called for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons program. It would also demand that all parties involved in the conflict stop attacking civilians.
Slovakia’s U.N. representative said that the purpose of the resolutions was to ensure respect for human rigths and civilian life, not to politicize the issues at hand.
The draft resolution arrives at a time when countless states, observers, and activists have condemned Syria’s use of chemical weapons and incendiary bombs as war crimes.
A recent long-term report claimed that Syria used chlorine gas several times in 2015 against civilians throughout the country.
Additionally, the use of bunker-buster bombs and other incendiary weapons by aircraft has been criticized.
Syria, with backing by Russia and Iran, has engaged in a major bombing campaign in eastern Aleppo since September, killing thousands of civilians and bombing schools and hospitals. The renewed violence has increased the urgency of voices calling for a political solution to the war, which broke out in 2011 after Arab Spring-inspired uprisings degenerated into protracted violence.
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.N., Abdullah Al-Mouallimi,
condemned Syria’s government and their Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies for the targeting of civilians in Syrian cities during a meeting on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, the U.N.’s envoy to Syria issued an impassioned call to save eastern Aleppo, warning that the city faces imminent and total destruction.
“In a maximum of two months, two-and-half months, the city of eastern Aleppo may be totally destroyed,” Staffan de Mistura told reporters in Geneva.