UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously voted its first ever resolution on the Syria crisis, allowing an advance party of ceasefire monitors to go to the country on the brink of civil war.
UN Resolution 2042 approved the first 30 unarmed military monitors, who are expected to to leave within days.
The resolution also calls upon the Syrian government to “implement visibly” all commitments under special envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan — including the withdrawal of all troops and heavy guns from Syrian cities.
The vote had been expected Friday but was held up by Russian objections to much of the text. Russia’s ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that “substantive changes had been made to make it more balanced.”
Russia and China vetoed the last two attempts by the council to pass a resolution on the crisis which the UN says has left well over 9,000 dead.
A new resolution with a full mandate will be required for the full monitoring mission of more than 200 observers.