Russia and China veto UN resolution to refer Syrian crisis to ICC

A draft UN resolution proposing Syrian crisis to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been vetoed by Russia and China. The two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) ignored the support for the measure by 65 other countries and all other members of the UNSC. It is the fourth time Russia has blocked a UNSC resolution on Syria.

The draft resolution was favored by 13 of the 15 members of the UNSC. Russia and China both cast their vetoes – the power which is restricted to the 5 permanent members (Russia, China, the US, France and the UK).

The Syrian conflict has caused an estimated loss of 160,000 lives and displaced millions of people since it started in March 2011.

65 nations had appealed to all 193 UN member states to co-sponsor the resolution, under which the ICC would be empowered to investigate allegations of heinous crimes by the Syrian government, pro-government militias, and armed opposition groups.

The draft resolution was proposed by the France before the 15-nation UN body. 13 votes were in favour and 2 voted against the proposal.

As Syria is not a state party to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, the only way to refer its case to the ICC is by the UN Security Council.  So, France introduced the resolution among the council members to refer Syrian Civil war to ICC.

For a draft resolution to be adopted by the UNSC, it needs 9 votes in favour and the absence of a negative vote (veto) by any of the 5 permanent members of the Security Council.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2017

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