Geneva Communique

The Geneva Communique was developed by the Action Group for Syria in 2012. Made up of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations, the League of Arab States as well as ambassadors from the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and several Gulf Countries, the Action Group met at the United Nations Office in Geneva. The goal of the Action Group was to secure the end of the killings, fighting and human rights abuses in Syria. The Group implemented in the Geneva Communique a six point plan, which called for the immediate cessation of armed conflicts as well as steps for negotiations between the opposition forces and the government.

The Geneva Communique heavily influenced US policy toward Syria. American policy mostly consisted of a diplomatic approach, especially due to the failure of Congress to authorize air strikes. It is worth noting that the Geneva Communique frustrated key Gulf allies because it effectively removed the air strike option. In addition, the plan failed to state a timetable for punishing Assad should the Syrian government not comply with the demands enumerated in the plan.

Not surprisingly the Geneva Communique was a nonsuccess: Kofi Anna resigned shortly after calling it “mission impossible.” The Syrian government refused to comply with the plan and Annan complained for the lack of unity amongst leading nations. Further, he stated that the involvement of foreign actors resulted in “destructive competition” at a time when the “Syrian people desperately need action.”

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