Colombia assumed the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council Sunday.
Speaking with reporters in Ibague over the weekend, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos regarded the task ahead as “a huge honor, but an immense responsibility for [Colombia].”
At the top of the agenda is finding a peaceful solution to the ongoing bloodshed in Syria, which stems from protest against sitting President Bashar al-Assad. Since protests began in March 2011, the Syrian government has squelched any uprising violently. A special Syrian task force convened in Geneva over the weekend, which will report to the Security Council.
In 2010, Colombia was elected unopposed, becoming one of ten non-permanent members of the Security Council. Each presiding country holds office for one calendar month each year. The Security Council holds the responsibility of maintaining peace and security the world over, according to the UN’s mandate.
Although Santos is now officially the head of the council, the real power brokers are the 5 permanent members: The United States, Britain, France, China and Russia. Their power stems from their right to veto any resolution that is put before the council.
Both Russia and China have stalled on any interventionist action in Syria, citing the sovereign rights of the country’s government.