Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Colombia Assumes Presidency of Security Council, Reiterates Commitment to Syria



Upon assuming the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, the Colombian government stated that addressing the violence in Syria will remain a priority in the agenda of the inter-governmental body. Speaking with reporters in Ibague over the weekend, Santos said that “the country reaffirms its full willingness to facilitate a quick solution that will reduce the violence [Syria] is suffering.”

Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security in the world at large. Its presidency rotates among the 10 non-permanent and the five permanent member nations with each assuming the top post for one month based on the English alphabetical order of the country name.

The Security Council established the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) in April 2012 for an initial period of three months to monitor a desired cessation of violence in Syria, as well as monitor and support the full implementation of a six-point peace plan put forward by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his role as the special envoy for Syria. In July the initial period will come to an end, and the Security Council must decide whether to extend the resolution, and if so, under what conditions.

Although there is no consensus about the extent of violence and number of victims in Syria, it is believed that between 14,000 and 15,000 people have died in the last 13 months, said Colombia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Nestor Osorio. “The worsening of violence, repression, and the state of ‘semi-war’ that exist are dramatic,” Osorio added.

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