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Watch it live: The U.N. mulls a smaller step on Syria

February 16, 2012 | 12:16 pm

United nations

The United Nations is meeting to discuss a nonbinding resolution on Syria denouncing President Bashar Assad for human rights violations, a much less forceful step than it has tried and failed to take before. Click here to watch the United Nations meeting, scheduled to begin at noon Pacific time.

The international body has struggled to reach agreement on Syria, which has been roiled by a nearly yearlong uprising against the Assad government. Russia and China have vetoed U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Assad for cracking down on the opposition.

U.N. diplomats say the resolution is "virtually certain to be approved," the Associated Press reports. Though the resolution has no force, it is meant to send a strong message to the Assad regime.

Opposition activists and U.S. officials say the Assad government has brutally crushed its opponents. The Assad government says it is fending off Islamic militants bent on sectarian war.

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-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles

Photo: Syrian representative Bashar Ja'afari, displayed on screen, raises an objection during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss the human rights situation in Syria at United Nations headquarters on Monday. Credit: Jason DeCrow / Associated Press

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