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The United Nations Security Council on Saturday voted unanimously a resolution which authorizes the deployment of 30 unarmed military observers to monitor the ceasefire in Syria.
It was the first resolution that the 15-nation council approved since the uprising in Syria began 13 months ago resulting in the deaths of about 10,000 people.
The United Nations Security Council meeting convenes in New York April 14, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
China and Russia – both permanent members on the Council -- joined the other 13 Council members and voted in favour of Resolution 2042. The two nations vetoed twice -- in October and in February – resolutions on Syria, stating they supported to solve the Syria crisis through international dialogue instead of "regime change".
Both also said the previous resolutions were unbalanced and didn't address issues like attacks by rebel groups.
Li Baodong, China's permanent representative to the UN, said after the vote that China always maintains that "the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria as well as the choice and will of the Syrian people should be respected".
Li said the Syrian crisis should be resolved in "a just, peaceful and proper manner through political dialogue", urging all parties, and the Syrian government and the opposition factions "to strictly honor their commitments to cease all acts of violence and create conditions for the launch of a Syria-led inclusive political process".
Vitaly Churkin, Russia's permanent representative to the UN, said the new resolution is more balanced through extensive negotiations.
The resolution calls on both the Syrian government and the opposition party to immediately "cease all armed violence in all its forms".
The text also calls on the Syrian government to implement the Joint Special Envoy for Syria Kofi Annan's "six-point peace plan", which includes an end to violence, access for humanitarian agencies to provide relief, the release of detainees, and the start of inclusive political dialogue.
Li said China appreciates Annan's mediation efforts, which are "the practical way out and an important channel for the political settlement of the Syrian crisis."
"What the relevant parties say and do about the Syrian issue should contribute to the ease of the tensions, cessation of violence, launch of political dialogue, and maintenance of peace and stability in Syria and the Middle East, rather than the other way around," said Li.
On the same day when the resolution was adopted, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Annan in Geneva, Switzerland, and discussed the status of the cessation of violence in Syria, including reports of sporadic violence and the continued presence of the Syrian Armed Forces in population centres.
Ban said they had discussed "next steps" and he will make sure the advanced observer mission will be dispatched soon and try to "make concrete proposals by 18 April for an official observer mission".
Ban said that the UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos will convene a Syrian humanitarian forum on 20 April in Geneva.
"I hope that [it] will be able to mobilize the necessary humanitarian resources so that all needy people will be able to get the necessary humanitarian assistance," Ban told reporters in Geneva.
At least one million people have been displaced inside Syria and many Syrian refugees are in neighbouring countries in Turkey and Lebanon and Jordan, according to the UN.