Russia and China use their power of veto to block resolution on Syria

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Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Russia and China have vetoed a resolution of the Security Council that would have allowed the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and prosecute war crimes in Syria.

Aside from these two countries, the French-sponsored draft resolution received favourable votes from all 13 other members of the Council.

This is the fourth time Russia uses its veto power to block action by the Security Council in Syria's civil war, which began in spring 2011 and has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people.

Deputy-Secretary-General Jan Eliasson spoke before the vote, urging the Council to take action.

The Syrian people have a fundamental right to justice. The United Nations and its Member States have a fundamental duty to defend that right. I support mechanisms that can genuinely hold perpetrators to account.  Let us also recall that accountability will help prevent further atrocities.  (17″)

With this veto, the ICC will not be able to investigate the situation in the country.

The Court requires the Council's approval when a country, such as Syria, is not a signatory of the treaty that holds accountable those who commit war crimes.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration:  1’11″


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