The resolution condemns the increasing Syrian military reliance on heavy weapons, including tanks and helicopters, and "failure to withdraw its troops and heavy weapons to their barracks" in line with a set of proposals by Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general who has been trying to mediate the crisis.
It backs Annan's "demand that the first step in the cessation of violence has to be made by the Syrian authorities, and therefore calls upon the Syrian authorities to fulfill immediately their commitment to cease the use of heavy weapons and complete the withdrawal of their troops and heavy weapons to their barracks."
Reacting to Syria's recent confirmation that it has chemical weapons and announcement that it would use them on any invaders, the General Assembly "demands that the Syrian authorities refrain from using, or transferring to non-State actors, any chemical and biological weapons, or any related material." It further demands that Syria account for and secure its chem-bio weapons.
But the rhetoric was evidence of the frustration within the United Nations, and around it.
French Ambassador Geraud Araud, the president of the Security Council for the month, threw barbs at Russia and China for bottling up the Security Council: "We've been hit with three vetoes in a row," he told reporters.
"The risk is that some countries have drawn the conclusion that it is over, that the Council is impotent on Syria," Araud said.
Araud said that the Council cannot make any political progress on Syria, so he intended to convene a high-level Security Council meeting, inviting foreign ministers to New York, to focus on humanitarian concerns late in August. He praised the work of the Syrian Red Crescent, the only aid agency allowed to operate in Syria, but said they cannot do it all and called for Syria to allow other groups in.
Another likely victim of the Security Council bottleneck is the group of U.N. military observers that have been monitoring the spiraling violence in Syria, and reporting back to Ladsous at U.N. headquarters. The mission is in the midst of a 30-day extension of its mandate, which expires on Aug. 19. Extending it would require passage of another resolution in the Security Council and no Russian or Chinese veto. It is already being cut back, from its original authorized strength of 300 to currently 115 monitors and 80 civilians.
"There will be no agreement, I think," Araud said. "It is clear that the mission will disappear by Aug. 19."
Ladsous tried to sound optimistic as he left the Council briefing Thursday: "We have another 17 days to see whether something happens that will change the situation."