UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Paralysis at the U.N. Security Council over the crisis is Syria isn't only harmful to the country but discredits the world body, the secretary-general said.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed members of the U.N. General Assembly, reminding them of their obligation to uphold the doctrine of the responsibility to protect as outlined in 2005.
"The concept arose out of the brutal legacy of the 20th century and, in particular, the appalling instances in which the machinery of state was used for systematic slaughter of innocent civilians while the world, for the most part, stood by," he said.
The doctrine calls on member states to act when individual states fail to live up to their responsibilities under international law.
Ban said he, along with U.N. human rights leaders and members of the General Assembly, have "sounded the alarm" in crises ranging from Ivory Coast to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Libya.
Syria, he stressed, was a case in point.
"The (Security) Council's paralysis does the Syrian people harm," he said. "It also damages its own credibility and weakens a concept that was adopted with such hope and expectations."
Veto-wielding member states China and Russia have objected to draft resolutions on Syria presented to the Security Council. They said measures lack balance.
Both sides to the conflict in Syria are accused of war crimes, though a recent U.N. report says alleged crimes committed by Syrian forces are more severe than those from anti-government elements.
|Additional Special Reports Stories|
OKLAHOMA CITY, May 20 (UPI) --A huge tornado cut a devastating path in suburban Oklahoma City Monday, slamming schools, a hospital, businesses and homes, and killing at least 51 people.
NEW DELHI, May 20 (UPI) --The US Department of Energy's conditional approval a Texas liquefied natural gas terminal to export to nations that do not have a free trade agreement with the United States is seen as a potential boost for India's energy security.
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, May 20 (UPI) --A Canadian jazz singer apologized for botching the U.S. national anthem at the Memorial Cup junior ice hockey game in Saskatchewan.