News / Middle East

UN Syrian Envoy: Syria 'Breaking Apart'

UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, January 11, 2013.
UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, January 11, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Margaret Besheer
— The United Nations-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, warned Tuesday that Syria “is being destroyed” and called on a divided U.N. Security Council to take action to prevent the situation from escalating further.  

Brahimi held private talks with the 15-nation Security Council for two hours.  Afterwards, he told reporters that he is calling on the council to put aside its differences and take action.

“Syria is being destroyed bit-by-bit," said Brahimi. "And in destroying Syria, the region is being pushed into a situation that is extremely bad and extremely important for the entire world.  That is why I believe the Security Council simply cannot continue to say we are in disagreement, therefore, let’s wait for better times.  I think they have got to grapple with this problem now.”

The council has been bitterly divided for nearly a year over how to address the crisis.  Russia and China have three times vetoed resolutions obstructing council action, garnering international criticism for shielding President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

  • A girl waves the revolutionary Syrian flag during a protest against President Bashar al-Assad in front of the Syrian embassy to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the 1982 Hama massacre, in Amman, Jordan, February 1, 2013.
  • Dutch student Wijbe Abma, 21, right, has raised more than $17,000 to buy warm blankets for the Syrian refugees, delivering the aid through local activists and rebel groups.
  • Anti-Syrian regime protesters flash the victory sign as they hold a banner during a demonstration, at Kafr Nabil town, in Idlib province, northern Syria, February 1, 2013.
  • Syrian citizens pray over the bodies of those who were found dead next to a river last Tuesday and who were not identified by their relatives, in Aleppo, Syria on January 31, 2013.
  • The bodies of dozens of men, many of them with their hands bound behind their backs, were found on the muddy banks of a small river January 29, 2013 in the northern city of Aleppo.
  • Relatives and Free Syrian Army fighters bury the body of Ammar Al-Achaqer, who activists said was killed by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, near Homs, Syria, January 29, 2013. (Shaam News Network)
  • An internally displaced boy looks out of a school at a village outside Damascus, January 28, 2013.
  • This image taken from video shows a Free Syrian Army fighter speaking in front of a government intelligence complex in Deir el-Zour, Syria, January 29, 2013. (Ugarit News)
  • A Free Syrian Army soldier flashes the victory sign as damage caused by warplanes and rocket launchers is seen at background in Hama, Syria, January 28, 2013. Image taken from video.
  • Syrian refugees search for their belongings at a burned tent at the Al Zaatari Syrian refugee camp, January 28, 2013.

The United Nations estimates that more than 60,000 people have died as a result of the nearly two-year-old conflict, and the toll continues to rise.  Hours before Brahimi addressed the Security Council in New York, Syrians worked to retrieve and identify the bodies of dozens of young men bound and executed and dumped in a river in Aleppo.

Brahimi said the communiqué that came out of an international meeting on Syria last June in Geneva provides many elements of what is needed for a political solution to the crisis, but that it needs further Security Council action to be implemented.

He said one critical element is the creation of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, but that the authors of the communiqué were deliberately ambiguous about it and must be specific now.

“That ambiguity has to be lifted now," he said. "You’ve got to say what these full executive powers mean.  And for me, and I think for many people, it means exactly that - all powers of state have to go to that [transitional] government.”

The veteran diplomat, who took up his post after former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan quit in frustration in August, dismissed rumors that he is considering resigning.  He said the United Nations has no choice but to remain engaged on this crisis and that he would continue to persevere.

The envoy said he would continue his discussions Tuesday night over dinner with the ambassadors of the permanent five members of the Security Council.

On Wednesday, international donors will meet in Kuwait to pledge funds for Syrians affected by the crisis.  The United Nations has appealed for $1.5 billion to assist some 5 million people inside and outside the country for the next six months.  The United States has already announced it will give an additional $155 million to help meet urgent humanitarian needs.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
January 30, 2013 5:18 AM
Russia and China are criminals in this case and most of the victims are on them.


by: david lulasa from: tambua,hamisi,vihiga,keny
January 30, 2013 5:10 AM
its now time for both sides,pro and anti syria to try to understand each otheras perspective,though assads side must have had a perspective that sees syria vulnerable because of the free syrian forces and protesters,thats actually a perspective led by selfishness,the truth is that assad and his group dont have the word fair and satisfied in their vocabulary,its they who are destroying syria and the world and so the whole world including russia and china must show such a fair concern as this of brahimi....and everyone hopes other powers such as USA will join hands with the chinese and russians and not just to always want to be in different sides with them.


by: Anonymous
January 29, 2013 9:16 PM
The Arab League should take the lead, and Nato should back the Arab League. Everytime the west gets involved they get criticized , damned if they do, damned if they don't. The only thing that stopped the West from already disabling Bashar al Assad was Russia and China. How can the Arab League sit back and watch the country of Syria become destroyed and thousands murdered. The Arab League needs to stand tall. Ideally it would be great to see the Arab League help bring Bashar al Assad to the ICC to face crimes against humanity/murder/and genocide.

Would Russia allow anyone to help the Syrian people?
Or does Russia still have their stance on making the Syrian people suffer? Of course nobody wants ww3 OR genocide to take place. If Russia is still blocking the Syrian people from achieving help to get rid of Tyrant Bashar al Assad, then Russia will show they do not care about the people of Syria, and are enabling genocide.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid