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New York, 5 April 2012


Your Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General,
Your Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis,
Ladies and gentlemen,

In February, the General Assembly provided a venue for the international community to consider the latest developments in the human rights situation in Syria.

The Membership heard a briefing by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Navi Pillay, and subsequently adopted resolution 66/253 on the 16th of February.

This action by the Assembly reaffirmed, without question, the responsibility of the General Assembly in matters related to international peace and security, as well as conflict prevention.

Such a role should not be perceived as a substitute for the mandate of the other principal organs of the United Nations.

Rather, the General Assembly offers an indispensable and viable mechanism for the international community to act in moments of deadlock and on issues of international peace and security.

I was pleased to see that, following the Assembly’s meeting and subsequent resolution, implementation of the resolution began straight away.

The former United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, was appointed as the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis.

I hope that the agreement reached between the Syrian Government and Mr. Annan on the six-point plan will be implemented.

It is essential that President Assad puts this plan into immediate effect.

It is imperative that Syria meets its commitment by the 10th of April dead-line.

With the number of casualties now over 9000, what matters is not words, but implementation.

We are in a crucial moment of the Syrian crisis – a moment which, depending on what comes next, could have an impact on the whole region.

Mr. Annan therefore needs the support of all of us in his endeavors.

This is why I deemed it necessary to invite the Joint Special Envoy to give a briefing today to the General Assembly on the situation in Syria, and the progress of his mission.

Thank you.