United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously passed a Russian-drafted resolution 2336 (2016) that seeks to end violence in Syria via a nationwide ceasefire between the government and rebels.
The resolution adopted on 31 December 2016 also seeks to start a political process in the war-torn Middle Eastern country.
Highlights of the resolution
• It calls for rapid and safe delivery of humanitarian aid across Syria.
• It calls for a meet of the Syrian government and representative of opposition in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, in January 2017.
• The text also stresses on fully implementing relevant Security Council resolutions, namely particularly 2254 (2015) and 2268 (2016), which endorses an inclusive and Syrian-led political process based on the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012. This implementation is the only sustainable solution to the current Syrian crisis, which is in its sixth year.
This adoption of resolution also expressed its support to the efforts of Russia and Turkey to end the nearly six-year conflict in the Syria and launching a political process.
Besides, the members of the council also said that the Astana meeting is an important step in the process toward the reconciliation of the Syrian conflict.
Expectations from deputy ambassadors of US and Britain
• US deputy ambassador to the UN Michelle Sison: the truce should be observed across Syria
• British deputy UN envoy Peter Wilson: A system is required to independently monitor the ceasefire.
On the other hand, Vitaly Churkin, the Russian envoy to UN praised the role of Turkey in reaching the ceasefire agreement. He also thanked all members of the council for their contribution to the peace process in Syria.
Comment by Rebel groups
The rebel groups in Syria said that they would consider the Russia-Turkey brokered resolution as null and void if the government forces and their allies continue to violate it.
The drafted resolution was officially presented to UNSC on 30 December 2016, a day after Russia sent the texts to the UN body of two agreements signed between the government of Syria and seven armed opposition groups.
Diplomatic voices engaged in the process, as well as the rebel groups involved, have suggested that this Russian-brokered ceasefire deal would succeed. It would succeed, even previous ceasefire initiatives undertaken in 2016 by the UN or the US collapsed, because this ceasefire came up after a commitment by both Bashar al-Assad and that the Syrian leader. The two sides had agreed on the implementation of the agreement with President Vladimir Putin.
The ceasefire between the Syrian government forces and rebel groups will act guarantors. The deal includes a large number of rebel groups but not any terrorist organisation like Islamic State, or the Kurdish YPG.
This agreement on the resolution of the Syrian conflict has a chance to reach a political settlement that would help in ending the bloodshed and establish the future of the country.
The Syrian conflict that began in form of an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011 has resulted in the killing of at least 3 lakh people and displacement of numerous. About four million have sought refuge in neighbouring states or Europe.