Un Chief deplores deteriorating situation in Syria
BOGOR, Indonesia - UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called the situation in Syria "unacceptable" and urged the international community to act immediately to end the violence.
His comments came ahead of a UN Security Council meeting Tuesday to discuss a draft statement urging possible "further measures" if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fails to implement a peace plan by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.
The statement, which carries less weight than a resolution, could be voted on at the Security Council meeting if consensus is reached over the wording of the draft.
"The situation in Syria has become an unacceptable and intolerable situation," Ban said in Bogor, in Indonesia's Java island, where he addressed the country's peacekeepers working for the UN.
"We have no time to waste, no time to lose, because one minute, one hour of delay will mean more and more people dead," he said.
"This is the moral and political responsibility for the international community."
Ban praised the nations who had engaged in diplomatic efforts to help end the violence in Syria, where a deadly year-long government crackdown has killed thousands of opposition protesters.
"I have seen hope that the international community will continually speak in one voice. And particularly the Security Council, I hope, will be able to be united so they can speak in one voice," he added.
Russia, a Security Council member and a key ally of Damascus, on Monday added its voice to growing calls for a humanitarian truce in Syria.
The Western-drafted statement at the UN was put to the council Monday by France, aiming to give strong backing to Annan's efforts to halt the 12 months of killing in Syria.
The statement expresses "gravest concern" at the deteriorating situation in Syria and "profound regret" at the thousands of dead over the past year.
It calls on Assad and Syria's opposition to "implement fully and immediately" Annan's six-point peace plan.
France's UN envoy Gerard Araud said he hoped it would be adopted the same day.
The plan includes a halt to the violence, humanitarian access, the release of detainees held over the past year and withdrawal of security forces from protest cities.
The Security Council meeting follows fierce fighting in Damascus on Monday, the most intense in the Syrian capital since the revolt against Assad's regime erupted.