News / Middle East

    UN General Assembly Spotlights Syria Crisis

    Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (L), speaks to Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (C), and China's deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min before the United Nations General Assembly passed a draft resolution condemning Syria, at the United Nations inSyria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (L), speaks to Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (C), and China's deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min before the United Nations General Assembly passed a draft resolution condemning Syria, at the United Nations in
    x
    Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (L), speaks to Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (C), and China's deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min before the United Nations General Assembly passed a draft resolution condemning Syria, at the United Nations in
    Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (L), speaks to Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (C), and China's deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min before the United Nations General Assembly passed a draft resolution condemning Syria, at the United Nations in
    Margaret Besheer
    The crisis in Syria was again at the top of world leaders’ agendas Friday during the United Nations General Assembly’s annual debate.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow condemns the violence from both the government and armed opposition, and said the opportunity still exists to take collective action.

    “Practical steps to overcome the crisis need to begin with a comprehensive cease-fire, release of prisoners and hostages, and supply of additional humanitarian aid. This would create conditions to start an inter-Syrian dialogue,” he said through an interpreter.
    Russia, along with partner China, has used its veto three times to prevent action against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, incurring the anger of much of the Western and Arab Worlds, and paralyzing the 15-nation U.N. Security Council.
    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said this impasse must end.

    Syrian Refugees by Country

    • Jordan: 94,454
    • Turkey: 87,774
    • Lebanon: 79,811
    • Iraq: 29,441

    Source: UNHCR
    “Despite the escalating violence and despite the deadlock in the Security Council, we must not stop working on a political solution,” he said.
     
    Activists estimate that nearly 30,000 Syrians have been killed since the uprising began 18 months ago. The United Nations refugee agency said this week that nearly 300,000 Syrians have fled the violence and registered in neighboring states. Turkey has taken the largest number of refugees, nearly 90,000.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said it is a “disgrace” that the international community has not taken one “effective action” to end the bloodshed and he laid the blame on the polarized U.N. Security Council.

    “It is the inability of the Security Council to act that still encourages the Syrian regime to kill ever more people,” said Davutoğlu.

    He said Assad’s regime must go and allow an interim government to lead the country to free and fair elections.

    Saudi Arabia’s vice minister of foreign affairs, Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, said the success of new U.N.-Arab League Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi depends on creating a new strategy and a clear-cut plan aimed at achieving a peaceful transition of power.

    On the sidelines of the General Assembly, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chaired a meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People. She announced that the United States is providing an additional $30 million in humanitarian assistance to help those affected by the crisis.

    • Damaged buildings in the northern city of Aleppo following months of clashes and battles between Syrian rebels and government forces, September 28, 2012.
    • A Syrian rebel fighter unloads an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) from a pick up during fighting with government troops in the old city of Aleppo, September 28, 2012.
    • Free Syrian Army fighter scans for targets from a building in Aleppo, Syria, September 27, 2012.
    • A member of the Free Syrian Army carries his wounded comrade who was shot during clashes with Syrian Army forces as others shout for help in Aleppo, Syria, September 27, 2012.
    • A Syrian man is comforted after the death of his brother, who witnesses say was shot by a Syrian Army sniper, outside Dar El Shifa Hospital in Aleppo, Syria, September 27, 2012.
    • A member of the Free Syrian Army open fire from his machine gun during clashes with Syrian Army forces in Aleppo, September 27, 2012.
    • Free Syrian Army fighters walk down stairs in a damaged building in Aleppo, Syria, September 26, 2012.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    Women Voters Look Past Gender in Assessing Clinton

    She's the first female presidential nominee, but party identification, other factors outweigh gender

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Melisa Brown from: UK
    September 29, 2012 10:17 AM
    oh... i love the UN... their sole duty appears to be to condemn Israel and "spotlighting" Islamic and Arab atrocities when they become too obvious to hide... its has been almost 10 years now that we have witnessed Arab Islamic militias brutally raping enslaving and slaughtering hundred of thousands of Black African tribesmen in Darfur... and wouldn't you know it... at the same time period the UN has managed to condemn Israel 423 times... listen to this... if you like a joke... Israel was condemned 14 times by U.N. Human Rights Council when SYRIA was in charge and heading that august body of conscientious enlightened diplomats... UN... don't you love it...?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora