Wednesday, June 6, 2012

An Understated Reaction to 10,000 Deaths in Syria: "Disappointment"

The President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, today expressed his disappointment over the lack of progress in ending the violence in Syria.  “To tell you frankly, I’m very disappointed,” Mr. Al-Nasser said in an interview. “The UN, the General Assembly, [and] the Security Council try very hard to convince the Syrian Government to stop the violence and start listening to their own people and reach out to them and try to come up with a plan.”

The UN estimates that some 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria and tens of thousands displaced since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 15 months ago.

Mr. Al-Nasser noted that the General Assembly endorsed, in February, a resolution establishing Kofi Annan as the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for the Syrian Crisis. In March, Mr. Annan put forward a six-point plan to help bring peace to the Middle Eastern country.  The plan calls for an end to violence, access for humanitarian agencies to provide relief to those in need, the release of detainees, the start of inclusive political dialogue that takes into account the aspirations of the Syrian people, and unrestricted access to the country for the international media.  “The Syrians accepted it, but on the other hand we don’t see any implementation except for more bloodshed, more violence, and last week we listened to Mr. Annan, and he is also disappointed,” Mr. Al-Nasser said.

On Thursday, Mr. Annan will brief the General Assembly in person, followed by the Security Council and the media, on the latest developments in Syria. Mr. Al-Nasser will also address the Assembly meeting, as will Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Nabil Al Araby.

“We will see how can we come up together and find a new approach to help the Syrian people,” the General Assembly President said. “We see and hear more killing and that is not acceptable.”

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

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