On Friday, December 18, the UN Security Council passed resolution 2254 by a 15-0 vote, calling for a cease-fire in Syria and political talks to create a transitional government, followed by national elections. This hopeful step reflects a greater international unity on Syria, even while major divisions persist over Bashar al-Assad’s future and the definition of who is a moderate Sunni opposition. By itself, however, passage of the resolution is not likely to spur near-term action and inspire compassion and engagement from the world community to address the immediate mass suffering of Syrians. Other actions are needed to achieve that end.

Any such humanitarian initiative can benefit from the lessons learned from the successful U.S.-Russian collaboration in removing and destroying Syrian’s chemical weapons.

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