The UN General Assembly has voted in favor of a non-binding resolution on Syria pushed by several Arab states at the UN General Assembly. Before the vote, Russia announced that it does not support the resolution, claiming it is unbalanced.
The bill was passed with 133 votes in favor, 12 against, and 31 abstentions.
The resolution, authored by Saudi Arabia and actively supported by Egypt and Bahrain, demands that President Bashar al-Assad transfer power to a transitional government and that the Syrian army ceases its tank and helicopter attacks against rebel forces.
It also demands that Syria refrain from using chemical and biological weapons. This clause comes after a recent announcement made by Damascus that alleged that Syria possessed chemical weapons, and would not hesitate to use them against an invading army.
The UN General Assembly denounced the Syrian crackdown and criticized the Security Council’s inaction.
During the session in New York, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said the Syrian conflict had become a “proxy war” and called on both opposition and rebel forces to end the violence.
“The acts of brutality that are being reported may constitute crimes against humanity or war crimes,” he said.
Syria’s envoy, Bashar Jaafari, said that countries which support the resolution, specifically Saudi Arabia and Qatar, could not be considered oases of human rights.
The decision came after the resignation of UN envoy Kofi Annan and the failure of his six-point peace plan.
The resolution will not be legally binding, since all UN General Assembly resolutions are advisory. Passage of the bill may nonetheless have a serious impact on the political climate surrounding Syria, paving the way for the possibility of sanctions.
The vote had originally been scheduled for Thursday morning, but was later postponed until Friday.
Moscow voted against the resolution. “The document is of biased and unbalanced nature,” the Russian foreign ministry wrote in a statement, explaining that as with previous similar resolution drafts, the bill lays responsibility for resolving the violence solely on Syrian authorities, with no mention of the opposition.
Russia and China have vetoed three separate UN Security Council resolutions on Syria. In each case, both countries claimed that the bills were unbalanced.