The resolution passed by the UN Security Council last night, calling for the eradication of ISIL safe havens in Syria and Iraq, is a cynical attempt by member governments to bypass domestic opposition to further escalation of the wars in the Middle East. It is also a betrayal of the UN Charter.
The resolution calls on member states to "take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law" to "eradicate the safe haven they [ISIL and other terrorist groups] have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria."
"All necessary measures" is the standard phrase used by the UN to authorise military force.
The resolution does not call for a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war, or set out any framework to manage the antagonism that has developed between global and regional powers in Syria. It simply urges nations that are already engaged in the war, either directly or through proxies, to engage at the same time in a war against ISIS. In doing so, it risks setting the stage for a conflict between the powers that would pose a far greater threat than ISIS to world peace. This is a reckless abrogation of the UN's responsibilities under Article 1 of the UN Charter.
Besides increasing the risk of conflict between the powers, the resolution is likely to have as yet inforseeable consequences for the balance of power between the domestic forces engaged in Syria's civil war. It may as a result arouse strong opposition amongst the peoples of the Middle East, with further disastrous consequences for regional and world peace.
SACC urges the UK Parliament to condemn the decision of the UK Government to support the resolution without prior debate in Parliament. And we demand that our MPs refuse to endorse UK military action in Syria and Iraq.
Background - UN Security Council Resolution 2249 (2015)
For the full text of the resolution, along with statements from representatives of UN Security Council member states, see the Security Council Press release.
The call to action in the resolution is as follows:
"The Security Council...
5. Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council, pursuant to the statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria;"