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Ban on Syria

Ban on Syria

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Published by evleopold
UN Secretary-General on Syria
UN Secretary-General on Syria

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Published by: evleopold on Feb 17, 2012
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02/17/2012

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:Remarks at Joint Press Encounter with President Heinz FischerVienna, 16 February 2012SG: Thank you your Excellency President Fischer for your kindhospitality and kind welcome. I always feel at home whenever I cometo Vienna not because I was serving as Ambassador many years agobut because this is another home of the United Nations. The UN officein Vienna is one of the four largest missions in the world. And I’m verygrateful for such strong support and commitment of the AustrianGovernment and people for multilateralism in working together withthe United Nations in keeping peace and security and on developmentand human rights issues.Ladies and gentlemen. Guten morgen und Grüss Gott. It’s a greatpleasure to meet you today.Vienna is the place where we carry out vitally important work on someof the leading global challenges of our time.This morning I participated in the Third Ministerial Meeting oncombating the illegal drug trade in Afghanistan and its neighbors.Tomorrow morning I will help commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.Austria plays a lead and vital role in the global fight against drugtrafficking and organized crime. Austria’s active participation in andsupport for the Paris Pact conference particularly demonstrated intoday’s Third Ministerial Meeting of the Paris Pact Partners is greatlyappreciated.President Fischer and I covered many important issues, global issuesand visionary issues in our wide ranging discussions.We also discussed the protection of civilians, particularly the need tohelp UN peacekeeping missions to discharge their mandates in thisarea more effectively.Defense Minister Darabos, President Fischer and I discussed thecurrent situation in the Golan Heights where Austria is now sending
 
the largest contingent to UNDOF. I am receiving daily reports fromthe Force Commander of UNDOF and they are now on full alert takingall necessary preparations considering what is happening in Syria.We also discussed the rule of law, an issue that Austria and PresidentFischer has been very active in promoting at the United Nations.I know this is something to which President Fischer attaches greatimportance, and I look forward to seeing President Fischer in New Yorkin September for the General Assembly’s High Level Meeting on theRule of Law – the first such event of its kind on this subject.I also thanked President Fischer for Austria’s strong support of humanrights and also human security. Their contribution in the HumanRights Council is very much appreciated. And I expressed gratitudefor Austria’s continued commitment to promoting peace anddevelopment in the Western Balkans, including Austria’s successfulintegration of 80,000 refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Iunderstand that President Fischer is also taking a very importantinitiative of visiting those countries including Croatia soon.We also discussed Libya, Iran and the Middle East peace process.On Syria, I continue to be gravely concerned at the level of violenceand mounting loss of life.I call again on the Syrian government to comply with internationalhumanitarian law and immediately end the shelling and use of forceagainst civilians.The High Commissioner for Human Rights told the General Assemblyon Monday, February 13th, that Syrian security forces have killed wellover 5,400 people last year -- men, women, children…militarypersonnel who refuse to shoot civilians.Thousands more are reported missing; 25,000people have fled toother countries; and more than 70,000 are estimated to have beeninternally displaced.Every day those numbers rise. We seen neighborhoods shelledindiscriminately. Hospitals used as torture centers. Children as youngas ten years old jailed and abused. We see almost certain crimesagainst humanity.
 
The lack of agreement in the Security Council does not give thegovernment license to continue this assault on its own people.The longer we debate, the more people will die.During recent days, I have been meeting and speaking with worldleaders in New York and here in Vienna.Yesterday, I had a telephone talks with Foreign Minister AhmetDavutoðlu of Turkey. I am going to have a series of bilateral meetingswith Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia and Alain Juppéof France, also Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger of Austria andothers.As you are well aware, the General Assembly is going to adopt a draftresolution to back up the Arab League efforts.The UN Secretariat and myself is now considering all the necessaryoptions once either the General Assembly or the Security Council takesa decision on Syria.I commend the continued efforts of the League of Arab States to stopthe violence and to seek a peaceful resolution of the crisis that meetsthe democratic and legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.Once again, I urge the international community to speak in one voice:Stop the violence. Stop the bloodshed.On Sudan, I have been increasingly concerned by the lack of progressin negotiations on post-independence issues.The situation is both complex and precarious.That is why I welcome the signing earlier this week of a Memorandumof Understanding on Non- Aggression and Cooperation between theGovernments of Sudan and South Sudan.I urge both Governments to maintain the positive spirit that led to thisstep.Neither country can afford a relapse into war.Any breakdown in trust will have profound humanitarianconsequences.

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