(Newsroom America) -- The UN Security Council has agreed on a resolution to keep the observer mission in Syria in place for a final 30 days, just hours before the expiration of the 90-day mandate.
The council indicated further renewals will be possible only if it can be confirmed that the use of heavy weapons has ceased and a reduction in violence by all sides was sufficient to permit it to implement its mandate.
The unanimous adoption of resolution 2059 (2012), submitted by France, Germany, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, followed the Council's failure earlier to adopt a Chapter VII text that would have extended the mandate of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, known as UNSMIS, for 45 days and demanded verifiable compliance that — within 10 days — the Syrian authorities cease the use of heavy weapons against civilians, or face sanctions..
The decision takes into account the “operational implications of the increasingly dangerous security situation in Syria”, and requests the Secretary-General to report to the 15-nation body on the text’s implementation within 15 days.
The Council in April established UNSMIS — for three months and with up to 300 unarmed military observers — to monitor a planned cessation of violence in Syria, as well as to monitor and support the full implementation of a six-point peace plan. In mid-June, UNSMIS suspended its monitoring activities due to an escalation of violence.
Before the Council again today was the report of the Secretary-General stressing the valuable role the Mission could continue to play.
Outlining options for its future orientation, the Secretary-General describes both withdrawal and the addition of a security component as highly problematic.
A final option — the risks for which, he suggested, might be the more acceptable — was retaining the core elements of the Mission, but refocusing it on activities within its mandate that could be achieved under current circumstances.