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PRESS RELEASE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE SPOKESPERSON FOR
THE PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

New York, 25 February 2013

President of the General Assembly warns of “manifest danger” that violence in Syria will “simply be allowed to run its course.”

GENEVA (25 February 2013) – The President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremic, delivered remarks at the opening of  the High Level Segment of the 22nd  Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday.

In the remarks he warned of the “manifest danger” that violence in Syria will “simply be allowed to run its course,” adding that the “for close to two years, the international community has failed to put a stop to the carnage.”

He said “the immediate cessation of hostilities should be our foremost priority. It has to be followed by a political process that would enable the citizens of Syria to freely determine the course of their political future.”

In his speech to the Human Rights Council on Monday, the President of the General Assembly also said “narrowly focusing” on civil and political rights was “insufficient” and that more time should be devoted to “economic, social and cultural rights, including the fundamental right to development.”

The President is currently overseeing the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for which the General Assembly was given the responsibility by world leaders in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.

Speaking to delegates in Geneva he said he will “closely engage with the Member States to ensure the SDG process becomes our top priority.” He added: “By putting the work of this Group at the very center of the General Assembly’s attention, we can ensure that the post-2015 development agenda and the promotion of human rights come to be seen as inseparable parts of the same whole.”

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Full text of the speech to the Human Rights Council: http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/67/statements/statements/February/hrc25022013.shtml

For more information and media requests please contact: Nikola Jovanovic, Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly: jovanovic @un.org,

Cell +1 917 291 8228

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