U.N. approves resolution demanding 30-day cease-fire in Syria

Last Updated Feb 24, 2018 3:20 PM EST

UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded. The sponsors, Kuwait and Sweden, amended the resolution late Friday in a last-minute attempt to get Russian support, dropping a demand that the cease-fire take effect in 72 hours. 

The unanimous vote shows progress in Council diplomacy to forge a compromise with Russia, CBS News' Pamela Falk reports, but the challenge remains to get to an actual ceasefire.   

A lot of diplomatic hands added to forging a settlement on the language of the resolution. France helped Sweden and Kuwait find a compromise on the timing, but preserve the goal of the ceasefire and protection of civilians. 

"Today, the Security Council finally took a step toward addressing these devastating levels of human suffering in Syria," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said. "The United States wants nothing more than to see the ceasefire in this resolution implemented immediately across the country."

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia had said repeatedly that an immediate cease-fire was unrealistic.


A volunteer checks the site of a regime air strike in the rebel-held town of Saqba, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on February 23, 2018.

Abdulmonam Eassa / AFP/Getty Images

Sweden's U.N. Ambassador Olof Skoog said before the vote that the resolution could de-escalate violence and save lives.

"The U.N. convoys and evacuation teams are ready to go," he said.