United Nations: The 193-nation UN General Assembly ratcheted up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday by overwhelmingly approving a resolution that endorses an Arab League plan calling for him to step aside.
On Thursday, 137 members of the UN voted in favor of the resolution while 12 members including Russia and China voted against the measure.
The non-binding resolution was drafted by the Arab League and backed by the United States and Britain.
The resolution said the assembly “fully supports” the Arab League plan aimed at halting Syria’s 11-month crackdown on anti-Assad demonstrators and urges U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to appoint a special envoy to Syria.
The Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bashar al-Jafari, dismissed the resolution as biased and unbalanced.
The General Assembly resolution has no real power without a similar vote in the UN Security Council.
The Arab League had sent a resolution to the Security Council earlier this month which called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. That resolution was vetoed by Russia and China rejecting it as “unbalanced”.