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

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid