General Assembly resolution calls for Syrian head to step down

A group of nations recently circulated a mostly symbolic United Nations General Assembly resolution telling Syrian President Bashar al Assad to step down.

The draft resolution calls for the formation of a transitional government and not-too-subtly criticizes China and Russia by deploring the Security Council for failing to take any substantive action. The U.N. General Assembly has no legal means of enforcing such a step, but large support of the measure could be an important symbolic victory against the Assad regime, according to Associated Press.

Moscow and Beijing have previously used their vetoes as part of the U.N. Security Council to kill three resolutions calling for sanctions against al Assad's regime.

Saudi Arabia wrote the General Assembly draft resolution and Egypt and Bahrain have lobbied on its behalf in an apparent attempt to galvanize support outside of the Security Council.

''What's important here is that a meeting of the General Assembly on this topic would be an expression of the frustration felt in the international community at large about what's happening in Syria and the inability of the international community, so far, to be able to help bring an end to the violence that everybody wishes to see,'' Martin Nesirky, a spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said, Associated Press reports.

Some U.N. officials have anonymously reported that they believe Saudi Arabia might weaken some of the language used in the draft resolution in order to garner even more votes and make a more powerful statement against Damascus.