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UN Security Council unanimously calls for end to violence in Syria

The UN Security Council [official website] unanimously approved a legally binding resolution [text], Saturday that officially calls for an end to the violence in Syria [JURIST news archive]. This resolution is the first legally binding resolution passed by the Security Council since the violence began last year. The resolution also authorizes the deployment of a military observer team to the region to foster the implementation of a cease fire. The resolution reads:

[The UN] Calls upon all parties in Syria, including the opposition, immediately to cease all armed violence in all its forms; ... Decides to authorize an advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers to liaise with the parties and to begin to report on the implementation of a full cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties, pending the deployment of the mission referred to in paragraph 5 and calls upon the Syrian Government and all other parties to ensure that the advance team is able to carry out its functions.
The Security Council requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] to report on the resolution's implementation on Thursday. The resolution has widespread support in the UN [UN News Centre report], including the secretary-general and the president of the General Assembly.

Last Monday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] released a report claiming the Syrian government has executed more than 100 civilians [JURIST report] and opposition fighters during recent attacks. The UN has long called for an end to the violence in Syria. Earlier this month, the secretary-general reaffirmed his call for an end to the violence [JURIST report]. Last month, the UN Human Rights Council [official website] voted to pass a non-binding resolution [JURIST report] condemning Syrian authorities for continued bloodshed and violations of human rights. This official condemnation from the rights body came on the heels of a demand for a cease-fire [JURIST report] by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] in late February.

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