Security Council must come together to solve crisis in Syria – UN-Arab League envoy

Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States for the crisis in Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, briefs reporters. UN Photo/Mark Garten

29 November 2012 – The Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the crisis in Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, today called on the Security Council to come together to adopt a plan that will constitute the basis of a political process in the Middle Eastern country, which has been wracked by violence for 21 months now.

“The situation in Syria is bad – and it bears repeating – it is getting worse,” Mr. Brahimi told reporters after his briefing to the 15-member body in New York.

“Unfortunately the parties themselves are not ready to have an internal solution,” he added. “The region is also not really capable at this time of helping for a peaceful solution. The place where a peaceful solution can be initiated is in the Security Council.”

The conflict in Syria, which began as an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, has led to the deaths of at least 20,000 people, mostly civilians, forced over 440,000 people to neighbouring countries, and left more than 2.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, according to UN estimates.

The Security Council has met several times on the situation in Syria, but has so far not reached agreement on collective action to tackle the crisis.

Mr. Brahimi stated that as part of his efforts to halt the violence, he had produced a plan that would lead to a political process. However, the elements of the plan “cannot be put together until the Council has come together and is ready to adopt a resolution that will be the basis for a political process.”

The envoy noted that the resolution adopted should be based on a communiqué issued by the UN-backed Action Group on Syria in Geneva in June.

The Action Group is made up of the Secretaries-General of the UN and the Arab League; the Foreign Ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – as well as the Turkish Foreign Minister; the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; and the Foreign Ministers of Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar, in their respective roles related to the Arab League.

“What I think will be in this resolution is the process that has been described roughly in Geneva, which starts with a transitional governing body with full executive powers and ends with an election,” he said.

Mr. Brahimi also noted that for a political process to be established, a ceasefire is urgently needed. Various calls for ceasefires have been previously ignored, including the latest one initiated by Mr. Brahimi ahead of the recent Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

“What is very urgently needed is a ceasefire that can hold, and based on previous experience from the Arab League, the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), and the ceasefire that I called for, a ceasefire will not hold unless it is very strongly observed and that I believe will require a peacekeeping mission” the envoy added.

On Friday, Mr. Brahimi is scheduled to brief the General Assembly on the situation in the Syria.


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