General Assembly To Request Assad to Step Down

Arab countries are passing around to member states a draft UN General Assembly resolution that calls for Bashar al Assad to step down. Unlike a Security Council resolution, this action in General Assembly would not carry the force of law. Still, a rebuke of Assad by UN member states could carry some political weight; if nothing else, a vote like this is a useful way to measure the degree of isolation faced by a recalcitrant regime.

We know that Russia and Iran will vote against the resolution, but who else? And how many countries will abstain?

You may recall that it was the General Assembly that drafted a resolution asking Ban Ki Moon to appoint a special envoy (read, Kofi Annan) to help resolve the crisis. Now, with that plan foiled and with the Security Council paralyzed, the action once again moves to the General Assembly.

The vote is expected later this week. A lopsided outcome could prove to be an embarrassment to Russia and maybe nudge them closer to the emerging international concensus on Assad.