News / Middle East

UN Special Envoy to Syria Resigns

FILE - U.N. mediator for Syria Lakdar Brahimi gestures during a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 2014.
FILE - U.N. mediator for Syria Lakdar Brahimi gestures during a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 2014.
Margaret Besheer
The United Nations and Arab League special envoy to Syria, Lakdar Brahimi, has resigned.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he accepted Brahimi's resignation, effective May 31, after discussing it with Nabil ElAraby, head of the Arab League.

The former Algerian foreign minister has worked for nearly two years to find a diplomatic solution to end three years of war in Syria, and his resignation had been anticipated for some time.

Brahimi gave his final briefing to the U.N. Security Council after Ban announced the resignation.

“I have suggested seven issues that need to be considered, and that if they are acted upon they will lead to a serious process for peace," said Brahimi. "[The] Geneva Communique is still and will continue to be at the center of things, but there are quite a number of things that need to be done.”

No successor has been named to replace the elder statesman, who recently said that if elections take place in Syria on June 3, his job — to negotiate a political settlement and establish a transitional governing body — would be pointless.

Appointed envoy in August 2012, at which point the United Nations said an estimated 20,000 people had died in the conflict, Brahimi said he is “very sad” to leave Syria still mired in crisis, but that he believes it will be resolved.

In the two years he has worked to find a political solution, activists estimate the death toll has skyrocketed to 150,000 people.

The outgoing envoy welcomed reports that Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has invited his Iranian counterpart to Riyadh for meetings.

Brahimi also noted that Iran has suggested a four-point plan for Syria that includes a cease-fire, national unity government; elections and a constitutional review that would limit the president’s powers. He said the proposal is “interesting” and could be considered.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin commended Brahimi for his efforts, saying he worked hard for a breakthrough, but it did not happen.

“But we believe that the show must go on, and that every effort must continue to be exerted in order to try to set the process of finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis in motion,” Churkin said.

Ban called Brahimi "one of the world's most brilliant diplomats" and said "he has faced almost impossible odds, with a Syrian nation, Middle Eastern region and wider international community that have been hopelessly divided in their approaches to ending the conflict."

Brahimi, 80, has served as a U.N. special advisor on several issues during the past two decades, including serving as the special representative in Afghanistan from October 2001 to December 2004. He replaced former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, who held the envoy post for six months and then quit, blaming the Security Council impasse for blocking his peace efforts.

Several names have been floated as possible successors to Brahimi, among them former Tunisian Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and U.N. diplomat Michael Williams.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
May 14, 2014 12:51 AM
The Syria dilemma is long done deal. The West plus Obama's US lost their credibility. Syrian government continues to use chemical weapon relentlessly against its own civilians while other religious fanatics group joined the conflict and helped fuel the killing innocent further with the blessing of the west.

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
May 13, 2014 10:27 PM
Koffi Anan was very truthful. He new the impossible task facing him as a UN Special Envoy in Syria. So he quit his job in a month. But Lakdar Brahimi enjoyed the same job for two years increasing the death toll from 20,000 to more than 150,000 and adding millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and other countries and adding millions as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) within Syria. Who is the next UN Special Envoy for Syria to prolong the death, destruction and agony of Syrian people? Dumping all the responsibility for peace in Syria is the travesty of the politicians like US.President Obama and other head of states in Europe and Middle East. Peace in Syrian cannot be accomplished unless these countries and UN can challenge the Syrian dictator Assad militarily. Inaction is equivalent to support of the dictator and UN has the full responsiblity for the inaction and the ongoing carnage in Syria.

by: abel ogah from: OJU Nigeria
May 13, 2014 5:45 PM
Who is next to be appointed?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs