In a statement today, the United Nations Security Council condemned the widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities. Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said, "This is an important and strong statement. It was long overdue."
Ambassador Rice continued, "...I think the Assad regime has been counting on the fact that the Security Council would be unable to speak. And that they would not be condemned. And that they would have protectors and defenders that would make it impossible for that condemnation to emerge. And surely they must be quite surprised and disappointed by the outcome.
"And hopefully, the people of Syria will get the sense that there are many in the international community, including in the Security Council, who are deeply concerned, profoundly troubled by the violence, who see their efforts and their peaceful protest as just. And the government will hopefully also be chastened by the strength and the unity of the condemnation. And obviously our over-arching goal, first and foremost, is for the violence to stop and the people of Syria to have the opportunity to chart their own course and have a democratic future."
You can read Ambassador Rice's full remarks on the statement here.