The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
It should shame us all that, three years since the adoption of the Geneva Communiqué on resolving the cataclysmic conflict in Syria, the suffering of the Syrian people continues to plumb new depths.
More than 220,000 Syrians are dead. Almost half the country's men, women and children have been forced to flee their homes. Civilians face a barrage of barrel bombs and other horrendous violations of human rights such as torture and prolonged detention of tens of thousands. There must be no impunity for such inhumanity.
Different parts of the country are increasingly controlled by a patchwork of Syrian and non-State actors, including Daesh and the Al-Nusra Front. The country’s cultural heritage is under assault. Syria is on the brink of falling apart, putting at even further risk what is already the most unstable region in the world.
The international community, and in particular the Security Council, cannot afford to waste any further time in ending the cycle of violence. My Special Envoy on Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, is engaging in a series of consultations on how the Geneva Communiqué can at long last be translated into meaningful action to ease the plight of the Syrian people.
The human cost of further delay should be unacceptable to all — strategically, politically and morally. I appeal in the strongest possible terms to the international community to join together with my Special Envoy to genuinely work for the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué before further irreparable damage is done to Syria, its people and the region.
Three years after the parties themselves, and all those with influence on them, expressed support for a plan to end that suffering, it is time to find an exit from this madness.