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UN General Assembly votes on ceasefire


12-10-2016 10:37 BJT

Members of the UN General Assembly have voted to pass a resolution calling for an end to the violence in Syria. This comes just days after the UN Security Council failed to agree on a ceasefire in the city of Aleppo.

122 countries voted in favor of the resolution that calls for a complete stop to the fighting.

It also demands access for humanitarian deliveries to Syrians in dire need of help.

The resolution, however, is not legally binding, so it cannot be enforced.

Resolution is not legally binding

Instead, its passage sends a powerful message of outrage and frustration over a war now almost six years long, and adds political pressure on the parties in the conflict to find a solution.

Russia, China and Iran were among 13 nations that voted against the resolution.

13 countries voted against resolution

Russia, which has been backing Syrian government forces against armed rebel groups, said the resolution failed to underscore sufficiently the need to fight terrorist groups, and that the Syrian conflict is a matter for the Security Council, not the General Assembly.

China's ambassador Wu Haitao expressed China's deep concern over the Syrian conflict and stressed that the international community and the UN should keep seeking a political solution. But he also cautioned that that any unilateral attempt to exert pressure or politicize the humanitarian issue would likely just cause further turbulence. 

Friday's vote here in the full, 193-member UN General Assembly came just days after the 15-member Security Council failed to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Aleppo.

Russia, China vetoed Security Council ceasefire

Russia and China vetoed that resolution, citing a lack of consensus and unity.

The UN says the conflict has killed hundreds of thousands of people, and nearly five million people remain trapped in besieged or hard-to-reach areas.

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