Kofi Annan touches on Syria challenges during book discussion at UN

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Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General

UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, does not have the help that he needs, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told a packed room at the UN on Monday.

He said Mr. Brahimi is encountering  problems he faced as the envoy attempting to mediate an end to the crisis in the country.

Mr. Annan resigned from the post in August 2012 due to increased militarization on the ground and lack of unity in the Security Council.

 ”There are people who do not believe in mediation, do not believe in the political process. They are repeating what they repeated when I was doing it: that by negotiating one is giving President Assad time. That to me is a piece of unmitigated nonsense, basically saying that 'Don't even attempt. Don't give any hope to the people. Let the killing continue.' And those who are saying mediation is a waste of time have offered no alternative. They are hoping for intervention, which I don't see. I haven't seen any countries lining up to intervene."

Mr. Annan, who served two terms as UN Secretary-General, was back at UN Headquarters for a conversation based on his 2012 book 'Interventions: A Life in War and Peace.'

The book also covers his youth in Ghana during the struggle for independence.

Mr. Annan said that experience showed him change is possible.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’33″

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