The ten elected permanent members (E10) of the UN Security Council pushed the five permanent members (P5) to reach a compromise and got a unanimous vote on a resolution ordering a ceasefire “without delay” in Syria to allow humanitarian aid to reach areas under siege.
After two days of delays and several postponements, Russia and the three western permanent members —— Britain, France, and the United States —— agreed on Saturday, on the final version negotiated by Kuwait and Sweden with the backing of the P10.
Kuwait’s Permanent Representative Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi, who is the Council President for the month, said after the resolution passed that the unanimous vote was a “sign that the Security Council is united” and this could pave the way for finding a lasting political solution to the seven-year conflict.
Hoping to shame the permanent members locked in a standoff and push them to a compromise, all the E10 representatives lined up together and held a news conference on Friday while the negotiations were on. “We want to show you the solidarity of the E10,” Mr. Al-Otaibi declared: “We are all united, we want the resolution to be adopted.”
The unrelenting push by Mr. Al-Otaibi and Sweden’s Permanent Representative Olof Skoog won praise from every one of the Council members. It was a rare instance of the E10 bending the P5, instead of the other way around.
Besides the nation-wide ceasefire, the resolution calls for the lifting of all sieges, facilitation of medical evacuations, and permitting convoys of the UN and its partners carrying humanitarian supplies free access.
However, the resolution made one notable exception to the ceasefire: It allowed continued action against the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, A1-Nusra Front and other terrorist organisations. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).