Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the UN General Assembly Resolution on Syria
Today, the UN General Assembly sent a clear message to the people of Syria: the world is with you. An overwhelming majority of UN member states have backed the plan put forward by the Arab League to end the suffering of Syrians. Bashar al-Assad has never been more isolated. A rapid transition to democracy in Syria has garnered the resounding support of the international community. Change must now come.
This resolution strongly condemns Assad’s 11-month campaign of murder and torture. It demands an end to the killing machine. It demands that the Syrian government release all political prisoners; assure the freedom of peaceful demonstrations; and guarantee full and safe access to Arab League representatives and international media, and to humanitarian aid workers, who seek only to protect a people who have endured unimaginable violence.
The international community has just given its firm support to the Arab League’s plan to facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, plural political system, “in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities or beliefs.” The only question is how many more women, men and children—from demonstrators on Syria’s streets to those taking shelter in homes and hospitals—will suffer or be killed by Assad before that transition begins.
The people of Syria, from Homs and Damascus to Hama and Idlib, from Aleppo to Daraa, should now know that the nations of the world stand with you and support you as you pursue a future of freedom and safety.