Yemen Co-Sponsors Syria Resolution, Skips Vote

Syria’s UN envoy Bashar Jaafari speaks before the vote. He asked member states to vote with their conscience (UN Photo)

Aug. 3 – The 193-member General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution that condemns the Syrian government’s violent 17-month crackdown and chides the Security Council for failing to agree on tough measures against Bashar Al- Assad.

The measure was adopted by a vote of 133 voting yes, 12 against and 31 abstentions.

Put forward by Saudi Arabia, as current chair of the Arab Group at the U.N., the resolution had more than 50 co-sponsors, including Yemen – yet no one from the Yemeni delegation showed up to vote. It’s one thing not to show up for a vote but to not show up to vote on a resolution you co-sponsored is quite another. A phone call to Yemen’s mission to the U.N. went unanswered and voice mail facility was not available.

Sana’a was not alone in missing the 11am General Assembly meeting – another 16 countries were also absent including Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan as well as the U.N.’s newest member state, South Sudan. Other no shows were Cambodia, Philippines and Equatorial Guinea.

Among the 31 abstaining countries were Pakistan and India as well as Syria’s neighbor Lebanon.

The 12 countries who voted no to the resolution were, predictably, Syria along with China and Russia—who’ve double vetoed three Security Council resolutions against Damascus in the past ten months—as well as Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, Nicaragua, North Korea, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

A full tally of the vote is here.