News / Middle East

Annan: Syria Crisis Must Not Spiral Out Of Control

Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria Kofi Annan (R) gestures next to Major-General Robert Mood, head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria during a news conference at the UN European headquarters in Geneva, June 22, 201Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria Kofi Annan (R) gestures next to Major-General Robert Mood, head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria during a news conference at the UN European headquarters in Geneva, June 22, 201
x
Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria Kofi Annan (R) gestures next to Major-General Robert Mood, head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria during a news conference at the UN European headquarters in Geneva, June 22, 201
Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria Kofi Annan (R) gestures next to Major-General Robert Mood, head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria during a news conference at the UN European headquarters in Geneva, June 22, 201
Lisa Schlein
GENEVA - Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, says he hopes it will be possible to convene a high-level meeting of ministers at the end of the month to try to push the Syrian peace process forward.  Annan says there is no time to waste, action must be taken to stop the Syrian crisis from spiraling out of control.  He has even suggested Iran be part of the peace process.

Annan acknowledges the peace plan is not working, that violence in Syria is escalating and so is the suffering of the civilian population, especially children and women.

He says the only chance for forging peace in that country is to have the united and sustained support of the international community.  He says it is time for countries of influence to raise the pressure on the parties to stop the killing and start the talking.  

He added that Iran should be "part of the solution" for bringing peace to Syria.  Russia has pushed for Iran's involvement in resolving the conflict, while the U.S. has said Iran should not be involved.

He says the peace process cannot go on indefinitely.  It cannot be open-ended.  He says it is urgent that consultations yield real results before it is too late to stop the crisis from spiraling out of control.

Annan agrees it is hard to know when a situation is likely to spiral out of control.  But, he adds, if violence continues to escalate, there will come a moment when it will become clear to everyone that the situation is not sustainable and is beyond control.

“And, we do not want to get there.  And, this is why we are trying to press and push to see if we can get the parties to take steps to end the violence before we get to that stage.  I do not think we are there yet.  But, we may not be far from there.  And, my own wish is to appeal to the fighters to really put down their guns for the sake of the Syrian people,” Annan said.  

The United Nations reports the humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate.  It estimates up to 1.5 million civilians within the country are in need of assistance.  In addition, there are 92,000 registered refugees in neighboring countries.  

One week ago, the Head of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria temporarily suspended the observer mission due to the escalation of violence.   General Robert Mood says the observers are mainly in team sites and headquarters. He says they are performing normal administrative activities until the risks diminish and they can resume their monitoring activities.  

He says the level of destruction in the country is enormous and the humanitarian needs are huge.  He says the continued military occupation of hospitals, health facilities and schools is preventing people from getting medical care.  He says civilians are trapped in combat zones.

He says he is very concerned about the way in which the situation in Syria is evolving.

“If I am frank, I would say that I think there are a lot of stakeholders trying to buy time related to the crisis in Syria and coming from me, I am now relating it to the ground inside because I have yet to hear from anyone a clear strategic operational vision of how they want to go forward, whether in one direction or in the other.  So, I think many see themselves served with more time,” Mood said.  

Though he too is disconcerted by events on the ground, Kofi Annan says people must not lose hope.  He says there is no other alternative.  He says the international community cannot just step back and do nothing.  He says things can change at any time and plans for peace that now are not being implemented, can suddenly shift for the better.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid