U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon calls the conflict the most serious concern of the international community

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday that the 14-months of violence in Syria that has claimed more than 9,000 lives is an unacceptable and intolerable situation.  Mr. Ban made the remarks during an appearance in Washington.

Ban called the conflict in Syria the most serious and gravest concern of the international community.  

The secretary-general said his priority is to fully deploy a mission of 300 unarmed U.N. monitors for a ceasefire that so far has failed to end the bloodshed. “The cessation of violence must stop by all the parties - government, the military forces or opposition forces.  This should be stopped.  Then political dialog must begin in an inclusive way for a political resolution reflecting the genuine aspirations of the Syrian people," he said.

There are about 60 U.N. monitors in Syria.  Ban said about 300 personnel will be deployed by the end of this month.  He added that the United Nations is mobilizing humanitarian efforts to help those displaced by the fighting. “At least 1 million in Syria have been displaced and affected.  Tens of thousands of people have fled to neighboring countries," he said.

The U.N. Secretary-General said the League of Arab States is playing a crucial role and that it, along with the U.N. Security Council, is united in trying to deploy a monitoring mission to Syria.

Ban attended the forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies to report on the U.N.’s peace building efforts.  

He said $100 million were spent last year to help keep war torn societies from sliding back into conflict. “Our peacekeeping missions are often important early peace builders, as we saw in Sierra Leone, still we see in Liberia and hope to see in Southern Sudan, where our peacekeeping mission probably has the most ambitious peace building mandate ever adopted by the Security Council," he said.

Ban said including women in peace processes and post-conflict planning is crucial to achieve positive results.

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