News / Middle East

UN Reviews Future of Syria Mission

Vehicles belonging to United Nations observers are parked in front of a hotel in Damascus July 2, 2012.
Vehicles belonging to United Nations observers are parked in front of a hotel in Damascus July 2, 2012.
Larry Freund
NEW YORK — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the U.N. ceasefire monitoring mission in Syria should be continued but he suggests that its focus should be changed to peacemaking.  
 
The U.N. Security Council authorized the ceasefire monitors in Syria for only 90 days and that mandate expires July 20. When fighting escalated in Syria and the ceasefire between the government and the opposition evaporated, the monitors suspended their operations. Secretary-General Ban, in a report to the Security Council, now suggests several options for the monitors, ranging from ending the mission to enhancing the operation with armed troops.However, Mr. Ban seems most enthusiastic in his report for a shift in the Syrian mission’s structure and focus.
 
The Secretary-General says some military observers could continue their work, but he points to additional options that would support dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition, enhance attention to what he calls the political track and to human rights issues. As he sees it, the mission’s “good offices” would be strengthened to seize opportunities to foster dialogue, calm tensions and promote ceasefires.
 
The U.N. Security Council is expected to meet next week to consider the future of the mission in Syria.
 
Meanwhile, the head of the U.N. operation, Norwegian General Robert Mood, has announced that he is consolidating the Syrian mission, grouping the 300 monitors in regional teams rather than the eight local teams dispersed in various Syrian cities. U.N. spokesperson Eduardo del Buey said it will be up to Mood to decide when it is safe enough for the U.N. observers to resume the functions that were suspended because of the violence.
 
“The Secretary-General, the Joint Special Envoy and General Mood have called on all sides to eliminate violence from their list of activities, to engage in the peaceful resolution of the situation," del Buey said. "Obviously it is very difficult for 300 unarmed observers to be going around the country if they are being attacked and they are being targeted. This is the reason why it was suspended and we will see when General Mood decides that the situation is safe enough for them to resume their functions."
 
The United States and other nations have called for the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Syria, but that action has been blocked by both Russia and China, two of the five permanent council members that can veto resolutions.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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