The Security Council presidential statement carries less weight than a formal resolution, but is stronger than a press statement. Neither statement is legally binding although a presidential statement becomes part of the council’s permanent record and is viewed as a serious message from the council.
The nonbinding statement approved by the 15 Security Council members calls on "the Syrian government and opposition to work in good faith with the envoy towards a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis and to implement fully and immediately his initial six-point proposal," in addition to giving a thinly veiled warning of future international action.
That six-point plan was initially presented by Annan as he twice met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad earlier this month in Damascus. Discussions of its implementation have progressed despite a backdrop of continued violence between Assad’s regime and the opposition.
Annan’s proposals spell out six key areas in urgent need of action. It involves an immediate cessation of violence by the Syrian government first, the pulling back of Syrian security forces from population centers, the release of arbitrarily detained persons, the implementation of a daily two-hour humanitarian halt to fighting to allow in relief supplies and provide humanitarian aid, and inclusive Syrian-led political talks “to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.”
Britain's UN ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, who holds the U.N. Security Council presidency this month, said the statement was agreed unanimously by the council, being an “important sign” that the council is united behind Annan’s mission, despite its early divisions.
“This sends precisely the strong and united message to the Syrian government and all other actors in Syria that they need to respond - and respond quickly and immediately - to the six-point plan that has been presented by Mr. Kofi Annan in Damascus,” added the ambassador.