Entries in Ban Ki-moon (10)


Syrian FM Accuses US and Others of Spurring Conflict, Refugee Crisis

Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Syria's foreign minister didn't have much encouraging news Monday about the conflict in his country while addressing the United Nations General Assembly.

Mostly, Walid al-Moallem pointed fingers at the international community for prolonging the bloody civil war between government forces and rebels that began in March 2011.

In sharply worded remarks before the U.N., Moallem accused the U.S., France, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia with sparking and supporting "terrorism in Syria with money, weapons and foreign fighters."

President Bashar al-Assad's regime has consistently referred to the armed resistance in Syria as "terrorists" who receive foreign support.

The foreign minister also went as far as blaming his country's neighbors for the 300,000 Syrians that have sought refuge in other countries, alleging that Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq have created an artificial crisis.

During a brief break from his diatribe, Moallem suggested that a dialogue on political transition could happen even as al-Assad has been adamant about not relinquishing power.

Earlier, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Syria's foreign minister that his government was predominantly responsible for "the continued killings, massive destruction, human rights abuses, and aerial and artillery attacks" in Syria, according to Ban's spokesman.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


UN Chief Wants Action from Security Council to End Syrian Conflict

SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had a pretty stern message from the international community at the start of the General Assembly Tuesday: fix the situation in Syria or suffer the consequences.

With the conflict in Syria 19 months old and tens of thousands of fatalities, Ban called the situation "a regional calamity with global ramifications." He said it was time for the Security Council to step up and get past their differences on how to resolve the civil war that now threatens world peace.

According to the U.N. chief, "The international community should not look the other way as violence spirals out of control."  Ban said the Security Council must follow the directives of special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who claimed conditions in Syria have become "very grim."

Previous attempts to pass resolutions to bring both President Bashar al-Assad's government and opposition forces to the negotiating table have failed, largely because of the insistence of Russia and China that al-Assad should remain in power and foreign interference ought to be kept to a minimum.

Ban blasted al-Assad for perpetuating "brutal" rights abuse and said that war crimes that have occurred in Syria should not go unpunished.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Iranians Embarrassed by UN Chief, Egyptian President at Summit

AFP/GettyImages(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Things didn't go quite as planned for Iranian leaders hosting the Nonaligned Movement summit in Tehran on Thursday as they were taken aback by criticism of the Syrian government's continued onslaught against pro-democratic forces in a civil war that has lasted 18 months and cost tens of thousands of lives.

What was supposed to be Iran's return to the world stage as a legitimate power in the region in hosting the summit attended by 120 delegations quickly unraveled as both United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi denounced the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, a close ally of Iran.

Morsi, who rose to power via a people's revolutions that was over in a matter of weeks, declared, "I am here to announce our full and just support for a free, independent Syria that supports a transition into a democratic system and that respects the will of the Syrian people for freedom and equality at the same time, preventing Syria from going into civil war or going into sectarian divisions."

When he got around to calling the Syrian government an "oppressive regime," that was enough for Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Moallem, who stormed out of the hall in protest.

Secretary General Ban also expressed the international community outrage at al-Assad, saying, "The Syrian government has the primary responsibility to resolve this crisis by genuinely listening to the people’s voices."

To add insult to injury, Ban also took aim at Iran for its unending mission to destroy the state of Israel as well as labeling the Holocaust a myth.

Iran's state media did not report the comments made by Ban and Morsi.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


UN Chief and Iran Have Different Views of His Visit

SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's first visit to Tehran Wednesday was either a denouncement of a number of the Iranian government's policies or a pleasant visit with his hosts, depending on which source you believe.

Following visits with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and other Iranian officials, Ban's spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said the secretary general expressed various concerns, including Iran's failure to move forward on talks on its rogue nuclear ambitions, which the West contends is to create an atomic weapons arsenal.

Nesirky said Ban told his hosts that they "needed to take concrete steps and prove to the world its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes."

As for the situation in Syria, Ban was clear that Iran must use its close alliance with Damascus to help bring an end to the bloody conflict that has lasted 18 months, according to the spokesman, who would not say if the secretary general pushed Tehran to encourage President Bashar al-Assad to leave power.

Ban also touched on the issue of human rights and the failure by Iran to respect fundamental civil and political rights, Nesirky said.

Iran's state news media, however, painted the meetings in a different way.

It was reported that while Ban and Iranian leaders talked about Syria, the secretary general agreed with his hosts that the West should not intervene in the conflict.  The government also suggested that the U.N. official also condemned U.S. and Israeli attempts to isolate Iran because of their objection to its nuclear operations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Massacre in Syria Pushes UN to the Edge

Jason Kempin/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Responding to reports of another large-scale massacre of civilians in Syria, United Nations special emissary Kofi Annan told the Security Council Thursday that action must be taken quickly to stop President Bashar al-Assad's forces or else the crisis will "spiral out of control."

So far, the Council has supported Annan's ceasefire pact, passed two resolutions to put monitors on the ground in Syria and condemned the 15-month cycle of violence that has cost an estimated 13,000 lives as al-Assad desperately tries to hold onto power.

News that dozens of civilians were found slain Wednesday in the country’s northern Hama province, an apparent massacre that called to mind the recent slaughter of more than 100 civilians in Houla, may have been the last straw for the international community.

The Security Council members went into a meeting after Annan urged them to apply "united" and "substantial" pressure on al-Assad to end his government’s crackdown on dissidents who the president claims have been incited by outside "terrorists."

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council that the 300 observers checking to see if both sides are complying with the ceasefire pact are in serious jeopardy from heavy weapons, armor-piercing bullets and surveillance drones.

Syrian forces are using what they can to chase monitors away from areas where they've been accused of staging attacks on civilians, according to Ban Ki-Moon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


UN Secretary General Warns of Impending Civil War in Syria

JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- The secretary general of the United Nations came close to admitting Monday that a nearly six-week long ceasefire pact to end more than 14 months of violence in Syria has been a failure.

Attending the NATO summit in Chicago, Ban Ki-moon issued a statement that finding a peaceful solution to the conflict between government and rebel forces had reached "a pivotal moment" and that he's "extremely troubled about the risk of an all-out civil war."

Even with 200 U.N. monitors on the ground in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the killing continued Monday with army deserters being slain and a funeral turning into a target for government troops.

There were also reports of violence spilling over into Lebanon's capital of Beirut, with street battles occurring between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar-al Assad.

Although NATO leaders agreed with Ban's assessment that Syria is close to reaching a tipping point, there was no move by the alliance to intervene militarily in the conflict.

The Obama administration has also shown no desire to get involved in Syria with death toll figures since March 11 ranging from 9,000 to 12,000.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


No Break in Syrian Violence as UN Chief Calls for International Action

LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Threats by the Western world, the Arab world and the international community at large have failed to stop the ongoing violence in Syria.

Even after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told ABC's Barbara Walters in a recent interview that only a "crazy person" would kill his own people, dozens of Syrians are dying daily as the government keeps cracking down on pro-democracy activists.

On Wednesday, 33 deaths were reported throughout the country by the opposition group Local Coordination Committees of Syria.  At least three women and a child were among the fatalities.

Most of the deaths are occurring in the cities of Homs and Hama, both hotbeds for the rising anti-government movement led by the Free Syrian Army, whose many members are former soldiers of al-Assad's army.

Since the revolt for democracy began nine months ago, the United Nations estimates that as many as 5,000 people have died.  U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is stepping up his call for international action, although there remains a reluctance to get involved militarily as the U.S. and NATO did in Libya by establishing a no-fly zone last March.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ban Ki-moon Concerned Over Violence in Sudan

SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images(KHARTOUM, Sudan) -- Escalating violence in Sudan has prompted United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to express his concern over the situation.

According to a news release on the UN website, Ban has voiced alarm over violence in Southern Kordofan and is concerned about the plight of those who are affected by the conflicts.

Violent conflicts have also been taking place in Abyei and Blue Nile states, and Ban says he welcomes forthcoming meetings to be held between the concerned Sudanese parties to address the violence and other issues.

A spokesperson for the Secretary-General issued a statement Saturday saying: “The Secretary-General stresses the importance of these meetings and urges the parties to demonstrate the political will and flexibility necessary to reach agreements that will bring peace to the area.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House Endorses UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon for Second Term

Yonhap News via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A day after United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared his candidacy for a second term, President Obama says his administration stands behind the U.N. chief.

The White House said Tuesday that under Ban's leadership "the United Nations has played a critical role in responding to crises and challenges across the globe, including most recently supporting democratic transitions in Cote d’Ivoire and earthquake-affected Haiti, the conduct of the referendum on South Sudan’s self-determination, and efforts to resolve the political and humanitarian crisis in Libya."

"The Secretary General has made important reforms, such as increasing the hiring of women to senior posts and proposing the deepest reduction in the UN's budget in more than a decade," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

At a news conference in New York on Monday, the 66-year-old South Korean said he would seek a second five-year term, and called his time as secretary general "an enormous privilege." Ban said he would be "deeply honored to serve [as U.N. Secretary General] once more."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


U.N. Kicks off 65th General Assembly in New York

Photo Courtesy - ABC News Radio(UNITED NATIONS) -- Heads of state from around the world, including the U.S., Iran, China, Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Palestine, gathered in New York Thursday morning for the 65th United Nations General Assembly. The debate began with remarks from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“In Afghanistan, we carry on our work despite exceptionally difficult security and humanitarian conditions," Ban said. "We will seek to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula." The Secretary General's speech highlighted what he called diplomatic victories of the United Nations in the midst of some of the world’s most pressing conflicts. "On Iran, we continue to urge the government to engage constructively with the international community," Ban told the assembly. "In the Middle East, we see encouraging movement toward a comprehensive peace.”

President Obama addressed the assembly Thursday. Absent from the room during Obama's speech was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Israeli President Shimon Peres. The Israeli delegation was not at the U.N. Thursday in observance of the Jewish holiday Sukkot.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.

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