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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

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

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains 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.
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