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Article published September 24, 2012
UN chief demands global action to end war in Syria
UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this morning demanded international action to stop the war in Syria, telling a somber gathering of world leaders that the 18-month conflict had become “a regional calamity with global ramifications.” In his state of the world speech at the opening of the U.N. General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting, Ban said he was sounding the alarm about widespread insecurity and injustice, inequality and intolerance in many countries. Putting the spotlight on Syria, the U.N. chief said “the international community should not look the other way as violence spirals out of control.” Ban said the Syrian conflict is a serious and growing threat to international peace and security that requires attention from the deeply divided U.N. Security Council. Russia and China have vetoed three Western-backed resolutions aimed at pressuring Syrian President Bashar Assad to end the violence and enter negotiations on a political transition, leaving the U.N.’s most powerful body paralyzed in what some diplomats say is the worst crisis since the U.S.-Soviet standoff during the Cold War.