AJC Decries Russian, Chinese Vetoes of UN Resolution on Syria

May 22, 2014, 13:17 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC condemned the vetoes by China and Russia of a UN Security Council resolution today on the Syria crisis.

"Once again, a UN initiative to assist the Syrian people, victims of a war that has shown no bounds in cruelty, was stopped dead in its tracks," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "We commend both France and the United States for their leadership in drafting the resolution calling for International Criminal Court action on Syria, and garnering majority support for it."

While 13 members of the Security Council voted in favor, the two negative votes marked the fourth time that China and Russia have vetoed a Security Council resolution on Syria.

French Ambassador Gerard Araud, who introduced today's resolution, warned, "A veto would cover up all crimes. It would be vetoing justice."

The resolution did not specifically target either the government or the opposition, a recognition that all parties to the conflict have committed acts that could be considered war crimes and crimes against humanity. An estimated 150,000 Syrians have been killed in the civil war since it began in 2011, and millions have become refugees or internally displaced persons.

"There should be accountability for those members of the Security Council that have prevented accountability," U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power declared.

"It is the Security Council's responsibility to stop atrocities if we can and – at minimum – to ensure that perpetrators of atrocities are held accountable," Power added. "These vetoes have aided impunity not just for Assad but for terrorist groups as well."

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100816/AJCLOGO

SOURCE American Jewish Committee