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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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