On August 3, in its first substantive action on Syria's five-month-long uprising, the U.N. Security Council condemned human rights violations and the use of force against civilians by Syrian authorities.
Lebanon, where Damascus' influence is strong, disassociated itself from the formal statement, agreed by the other 14 members of the council. As statements are meant to be unanimous, Lebanon could have blocked it, but by simply disassociating itself, Beirut allowed the statement to pass.
"While we express our deep regret for the loss of innocent victims and we offer our condolences to their families, we hope, for Syria, the people and the country that reform will lead to progress and prosperity. But since Lebanon considers that the statement being discussed in our meeting today does not help in addressing the current situation in Syria, we therefore dissociate ourselves from this presidential statement," said Caroline Ziade, Deputy Permanent Representative of Lebanese Mission to the U.N.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded the council's action: "I welcome the Presidential Statement adopted by the Security Council today as the clear message of the international community. The world has watched the deteriorating situation in Syria with the most profound concern, but the events of the past few days have been brutally shocking. Once again, I call on President Assad and the Syrian authorities to immediately cease all violence against their people, to fully respect human rights, and implement reforms they have already announced. As I have repeatedly said, the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people must be addressed through an inclusive, Syrian-led, political process that guarantees fundamental freedoms and rights for all."
The document, announced after three days of disagreements and readjustments, urges the Syrian Government to fully comply with international human rights laws.
Caroline Ziade- Deputy Permanent Representative of Lebanese Mission to the U.N.
Ban Ki-moon- U.N. Secretary-General