18 March 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the urgent need for a political solution to end the crisis in Syria which over the past two years has claimed over 70,000 lives and led to a dire humanitarian crisis.
“We all need to inject urgency towards reaching a political solution while there is still time to prevent Syria’s complete destruction,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.
“The end goal is clear to all – there must be an end to violence, a clean break with the past and a transition to a new Syria in which the rights of all communities are protected and the legitimate aspirations of all Syrians for freedom, dignity and justice, are met,” it added.
“The sooner a military solution is abandoned the better. There is no need for more people to die, flee or grieve in Syria.”
Well over 70,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011. The country is facing a humanitarian crisis, with over three million people displaced from their homes, including one million seeking safety in neighbouring countries.
“Two years ago, Syrians stood up in peaceful popular protests to appeal for their universal rights and freedoms,” noted the statement. “This appeal was answered with brutal force by the Syrian authorities. Today, the world is watching the consequences with horror.”
Mr. Ban called on the region and the international community, in particular the Security Council, to find unity and lend its full support to the efforts of the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, to help the Syrian people reach a political solution to the conflict.