The 15-nation Council failed to adopt yesterday a draft resolution, which would have threatened President Bashar Al-Assad's regime with sanctions, after permanent members Russia and China vetoed it. The resolution, proposed by Britain, France, Germany and the United States, contained specific threat of sanctions if Syrian authorities did not stop using heavy weapons and withdraw troops from towns and cities within 10 days.
India was among the 11 countries that voted in favour of the resolution while Pakistan and South Africa abstained. This is the third time in nine months that veto-wielding Russia and China have blocked a resolution on Syria as they oppose imposing any sanctions on the Assad regime.
Ban said he "deeply regrets" that the Security Council was unable to agree on the resolution to address the rapidly deteriorating situation in Syria. The "vote is disappointing at a time when more resolve and pressure were needed to achieve the goals endorsed by the Security Council, of a full cessation of violence to protect civilians and of facilitating a Syrian-led political transition leading to a democratic political system," a statement issued by Ban's spokesperson said here.
Noting that the "hour is grave," Ban said the international community has a collective responsibility to the Syrian people at a time when the Syrian government has "manifestly failed" to protect them.