Syrian situation cries out for action by the UN Security Council: Ban

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A Syrian refugee woman holds her child

"Syria is self-destructing", UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday evening in remarks at the Sorensen Distinguished Lecture on the United Nations at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Secretary-General said that "after nearly two years, we no longer count days in hours, but in bodies", adding that "Another day, another 100, 200, 300 dead". He said "Fighting rages. Sectarian hatred is on the rise. The catalogue of war crimes is mounting. Sexual violence is widespread".

Secretary-General Ban said "The situation cries out for action by the UN Security Council in particular, pointing to the statement by the Joint UN/League of Arab States Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi who has said, the Council cannot simply wait for divisions to evaporate.

Secretary-General Ban stressed that "The Security Council must no longer stand on the sidelines, dead-locked, silently witnessing the slaughter". Rather, "It must be willing, at long last, to come together and establish the parameters for the democratic transition that could save Syria.

He said "…for the moment, division rules the day — inside Syria, in the region, in the UN Security Council. The Syrians are not ready to talk to one another. The regime remains as repressive as ever. 

The Secretary-General warned that "We need to find a way towards negotiations between empowered Government and opposition delegations that can make key decisions about the country's future – on elections, on constitutional reform, on accountability for victims of international crimes, on other steps needed to meet the people's legitimate aspirations.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’30″

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