UN Secretary-General's oral report to the General Assembly on the Implementation of Resolution on Syria
Office of the Secretary-General
2 March 2012
I am making this report as requested by the General Assembly resolution A/Res/66/263 of 16 February. Given the gravity of the situation, please be assured that we will keep you regularly informed. (…)
Civilian losses have clearly been heavy. We continue to receive grisly reports of summary executions, arbitrary detentions and torture.
In Homs, Hama and elsewhere, the brutal fighting has trapped civilians in their homes, without food, heat or electricity or medical care; without any chance of evacuating the wounded or burying the dead. People have been reduced to melting snow for drinking water.
This atrocious assault is all the more appalling for having been waged by the government itself, systematically attacking its own people. (…)
Yesterday, the Security Council deplored the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation and demanded access for relief workers. I welcome the Council’s clear and strong statement.
The Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva, condemned the “widespread and systematic” violations of human rights and demanded an immediate end to the violence.
I am extremely disappointed that the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms. Valerie Amos, has not been able to travel to Syria despite repeated assurances. I once again urge the authorities to allow her to visit, as soon as possible, so that humanitarian relief workers can reach the many thousands of people who desperately need assistance.
Today, teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society have been permitted to enter Homs, but they are waiting to get access to Bab Amr. It is essential that aid workers be allowed to help civilians in the most devastated areas of the city; as of this moment, assistance can still not get through.
As you know, the joint UN-Arab League Special Envoy, the Honorable Kofi Annan, will depart from New York this evening. During the past two days he has been consulting intensively with Member States, including members of the Security Council and the Arab Group as well as the Syrian mission and other concerned stakeholders. He plans to travel next week to Cairo for consultations with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and to a number of other regional capitals, including Damascus.
My predecessor has taken on a difficult mission with immense challenges; he needs the full and undivided support of the international community, speaking in one voice. (…)
The Syrian Government has failed to deliver on its responsibility to protect its people. Civilian populations are under military assault in several cities.
The disproportionate use of force by Syrian authorities has driven, what had been largely peaceful opposition forces, to resort to take up arms in some cases. But let us be clear: the opposition’s firepower appears to be minimal, compared to the heavy weapons being used by the Syrian army. (…)
We must do everything in our power to end the crisis. We must help move towards a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, pluralistic political system, as supported by this Assembly.
Yet to date, the international community has failed in its duty.
In fact, the actions – indeed, the inaction — of the international community seems to have encouraged the Syrian authorities in their brutal suppression of its citizens.
Further militarization of the Syrian opposition is not the answer.
The international community must urgently find unity in pressing the Syrian authorities and all other parties to stop the violence. It must insist, with one voice, that the Syrian authorities give access to international humanitarian workers as an essential first step towards a peaceful solution to the crisis. (…)
The way towards a peaceful solution of the Syrian crisis is difficult, but clear.
First, there should be an immediate end to the killings and violence. International relief workers must be allowed in.
Second, there is a clear need for an inclusive political dialogue among all Syrian actors. (…)
We must act, urgently and in concert. (…)
Read the full statement.