Secretary-General: UN focused on political solution to Syria crisis

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Sigrid Kaag, newly-appointed Special Coordinator of the Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN on eliminating Syria's chemical weapons programme. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Even as it works to eliminate chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, the United Nations has not lost sight of the "wider tragedy" still ravaging the country, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in New York on Wednesday.

Mr. Ban was announcing the appointment of UN official Sigrid Kaag as Special Coordinator for the Joint Mission of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons programme.

The Joint Mission, which was officially established on Wednesday, will continue work which began earlier this month.

"While mobilizing to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, the United Nations has not lost sight for one moment of the wider tragedy that is still destroying Syria. We are equally focused on reaching a political solution that will stop the appalling violence and suffering being inflicted on the Syrian people."  (23″)

Mr. Ban said efforts are intensifying to hold an international conference on Syria in Geneva this November.

He reported that in the coming days, joint UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi will be in the region for consultations with key parties related to the conference.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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