Ambassador Susan E. Rice in Response to a Question Submitted on Twitter

U.S. Mission to the United Nations, New York, New York

AMBASSADOR RICE: So the question that we received – Mark, would you read it again?

MODERATOR: One more time, this is from @freeppl. Why are you not acting swiftly towards the killing in Syria as you did in Libya?

AMBASSADOR RICE: And I take that as, in the first instance, directed at the Security Council.

And I think as is well known, and I will say for the benefit of the folks at @freeppl, that the Security Council has been shamefully and woefully divided on the issue of Syria. And unable to adopt resolutions that even would entail relatively modest action.

In the case of Libya, we had Resolution 1970, which imposed strong sanctions and made a referral of Qadhafi to the International Criminal Court. And then we had 1973, which was a result of the regional group, the Arab League, making a request to the Security Council for intervention, and the Council coming together to authorize protection of civilians in a no-fly zone.

Now the circumstances in Syria are quite different. And, indeed, the circumstances in various countries within the Arab world have evolved in a different way.

There’s no such request from the Arab League. There’s no such unity in the Security Council. And, indeed, the circumstances on the ground are quite a bit different and more complex, with an opposition that is struggling to unify, that doesn’t control a clear and geographically identified swath of territory, as was the case in the east in Libya.

And therefore, very regrettably, and much to the frustration of the United States and many others in the international community, the Security Council, the international community, has not been able to respond robustly and swiftly, as we have sought. And even to go to the step of implementing meaningful sanctions.

But we will keep at it.

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