International community urged not to abandon people of Syria

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Civilians approach the distribution area via Yarmouk Street. Yarmouk, Damascus. UNRWA Archives

The international community has been urged by the UN Secretary-General not to abandon the people of Syria to what he called "the never ending waves of cruelty and crisis".

Speaking at an event organized by the Asia Society in New York Ban Ki-moon said the death toll in Syria may be well over 150,000.

Half of the country's 22 million people are displaced.

He said the already horrific war in Syria is worsening and "continues to bleed beyond its borders."

"I am here to express my anger and disappointment at the cold calculation that seems to be taking hold — that little can be done except to arm the parties and watch the conflict rage. The international community must not abandon the people of Syria and the region to never ending waves of cruelty and crisis. We must act. All the values for which we stand, and all the reasons for which the United Nations exists, are at stake."(31")

The Secretary-General said that deaths by summary executions and what he called "unspeakable" torture are daily occurrences.

He called for the stemming of the flow of weapons into Syria, saying that it is irresponsible for foreign powers and groups to support warring parties that are committing atrocities and violating human rights.

Mr. Ban urged the Security Council to impose an arms embargo and if divisions in the Council continue to prevent such action, for countries to do so individually.

Sophie Outhwaite, United Nations

Duration:  1’39″

 

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