Going out with a bang, U.S. ambassador Susan Rice left the United Nations on Tuesday slamming the Security Council’s failure to act over the worsening Syria conflict.
She described the failure as a “moral and strategic disgrace,” criticizing Russia and China for their veto of resolutions on the Syria war.
Rice, who will now become President Barack Obama’s national security advisor, said: “The repeated failure of the Security Council to unify on the crucial issue of Syria I think is a stain on this body and something that I will forever regret.”
“The council’s inaction on Syria is a moral and strategic disgrace that history will judge harshly,” Rice told reporters after making her farewells to other U.N. envoys after four and a half years as U.S. ambassador.
Rice stressed that there were no sanctions or threats of force in the proposed resolutions which she called “very mild.”
“Yet we have been paralyzed, and I don’t know how in any circumstance one could ascribe that to a failure of U.S. policy or U.S. leadership, when the vast majority of the council was ready and willing to move ahead.”
Rice said the Security Council had shown it was possible to work with Russia, when tougher sanctions against Iran and North Korea were agreed on.
Russia and China have three times used their vetoes as permanent members of the Security Council to block western-proposed resolutions that would have increased pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.
Both countries have accused the United States, France and Britain of only seeking regime change in Syria, where the United Nations says more than 93,000 people have been killed in the past 27 months.
Samantha Power, a White House advisor, has been named as the new UN ambassador.
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