On 15 May, UNA-UK's Chairman, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, had an article published in the Guardian newspaper on the prospects for an international conference on Syria, recently proposed by the US and Russia.
Sir Jeremy calls for a new kind of diplomacy in tackling Syria, noting the 'courageous' but ultimately failed efforts of Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi to find a political solution. An international conference would provide a framework of 'strong and co-ordinated outside assistance', and should be shaped now in anticipation of the civil war that is still to come.
Whilst negotiations for a conference are ongoing, the UN General Assembly yesterday passed its fifth resolution on the situation in Syria, condemning the violence committed by all sides, and the 'continuation of grave violations of human rights by the Syrian authorities'. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 107 in favour, 12 against with 59 abstentions.
LATEST: UNA Harpenden's Trevor Evans writes to the Guardian on Syria
A letter in today's Guardian written by Trevor Evans, Chair of UNA Harpenden, reinforces Sir Jeremy's calls for a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Syria. Citing the recently adopted UN Arms Trade Treaty which states that arms transfers should be prohibited where there is a risk they could facilitate human rights abuses, the letter warns against the UK government supplying arms to Syria and calls instead for greater support for the UN's peacebuilding initiatives.
Photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider, 'Assembly Demands Halt to All Violence in Syria'.