Discussion

Abandon Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s peace plan has never really worked. Right from its initial deadlines neither the Syrian Government nor the opposition was willing to stick to the cease fire the plan was supposed to create. The UN monitors that were put on the ground never had much influence and always seemed to be there to keep an eye on the ongoing violence rather than actually monitor the peace. During their time in Syria several massacres have come to light in which the military have been implicated but the Syrian government has angrily blamed on rebels trying to pose as soldiers in order to discredit the government. Over the last week the failure of the cease fire has become ever more obvious as fighting has intensified in Damascus itself and a bomb killed the Syrian Defence Minister and his deputy.

In the United Nations there has been little progress. The initial monitoring mission was only meant to last for 90 days and Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, stated at the time of the agreement to create the mission "No one should assume that the United States will agree to renew this mission at the end of 90 days… If there is not a sustained cessation of violence, full freedom of movement for U.N. personnel and rapid meaningful progress on all other aspects of the six-point plan, then we must all conclude that this mission has run its course." Those 90 days will be up tomorrow so has the mission run its course? The US, France and UK wanted a resolution which would involve sanctions if Syria did not stick to Annan’s plan. However Russia and China have today vetoed that proposal. This really leaves the option of extending the current toothless mission or killing the plan and starting again.

Has the plan failed; and what should be done instead?

Debatabase debate: This House would abandon Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria http://idebate.org/debatabase/debates/peace-security-human-rights/house-would-abandon-kofi-annan%E2%80%99s-peace-plan-syria

http://turtlebay.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/07/18/does_washington_have_the_stomach_to_kill_off_kofi_annans_peace_plan

Kofi Annan has now quit as the envoy for the UN and Arab League to Syria. With his departure he criticised the UN Security Council for "finger pointing and name calling". He did however give a note of optimism by arguing "Syria can still be saved from the worst calamity - if the international community can show the courage and leadership necessary to compromise on their partial interests for the sake of the Syrian people - for the men, women and children who have already suffered far too much." Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, meanwhile is now hoping to find a successor to "carry on this crucial peacemaking effort".

So not abandoning the actual plan yet, even if the man who takes most of the credit for it has quit.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19099676

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