Ban calls on Syrian opposition forces to send united delegation to peace conference

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras (file photo)

29 September 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the National Coalition for the Syrian opposition forces to reach out to other groups and agree on a united delegation for an upcoming peace conference, as he met with the President of the Coalition on Saturday.

During the meeting in New York, the Secretary-General welcomed Ahmad al-Jarba's commitment to send a delegation to the conference, which is expected to take place in mid-November in Geneva and aims to resolve the conflict that is now in its third year.

Mr. Ban “urged the National Coalition to reach out to other opposition groups and agree on a representative and united delegation,” according to a readout of the meeting issued by his spokesperson.

He also stressed the paramount importance of embarking on serious dialogue as soon as possible, as well as the need to ensure accountability for war crimes, it added.

The conflict, which began in March 2011, has claimed over 100,000 lives, sent more than 2 million people fleeing for safety to neighbouring countries and displaced 4 million within Syria.

In the meeting, Mr. Ban underlined the suffering of the Syrian people on all sides, as a result of the conflict, and also the hardship of the neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.

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