JULY 23 2012 16:27h
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Saturday he was sending an envoy to Syria to assess the situation in the country as clashes between government forces and rebels had intensified over the last few days with an increasing death toll.
The United Nations must continue to be actively involved and fully mobilised and that's why I am sending my Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Operations to assess the situation on the ground as well as one of the leading generals of the UN peacekeeping forces to lead the UN observer mission in Syria at this critical stage, Ban said after meeting Croatian President Ivo Josipovic in the northern Adriatic island resort of Brijuni.
He added that UN humanitarian organisations on the ground were working on relieving the affected population and refugees.
The situation in Syria is rapidly deteriorating as fighting continues throughout the country. I am deeply distressed by the rising death toll and the growing number of people who have been forced to flee their homes, and our priority is the wellbeing of people in Syria and we must stand by them, Ban said.
The Syrian government has failed to protect its citizens, and the international community has collective responsibility to act in accordance with the founding principles of the United Nations, he added.
Noting that the UN was active in searching for a peaceful solution, Ban said that he had called upon the Security Council members several times to demonstrate unity in order to ensure compliance with the Security Council resolutions and documents.
Yesterday's unanimous vote on Resolution 2059 is a constructive step and sign, and joint efforts should now follow to ensure compliance with the UN Charter, Ban said, calling for an unconditional cessation of all armed clashes.
According to the UN secretary-general, yesterday's extension of the mandate of the UN observer mission in Syria for 30 days is a clear signal to the parties to the conflict that further killing must stop and that all armed operations must cease.
Although the situation is constantly changing and is unpredictable, the path towards peace is clear: there must be an end to killing and human rights violations and a rapid move towards a political process that will lead to peace, Ban said.(Hina)