Kofi Annan resigns as Special Envoy to Syria + Related Articles
Kofi Annan, who has been mediating the Syrian crisis as a special UN-Arab League Envoy, is stepping down from the post, UN chief Ban Ki-moon says.
“Mr. Annan has informed me, and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Mr. Nabil Elaraby, of his intention not to renew his mandate when it expires on 31 August 2012,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.
Annan blames “the increasing militarization” in Syria, along with the international community’s inability to come to a consensus over the conflict, for his departure.
“As an envoy I cannot want peace more than the protagonist, more than the Security Council or the international community,” Annan told journalists in Geneva.
“At a time when the Syrian people desperately need action, there continues to be finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security Council,” he said, adding that the UNSC and other world and regional powers did little to press a peaceful political transition of power onto all the parties on the Syrian conflict.
Annan expects his peace plan and the Syria Action Group to continue working after his mandate expires.
The UN has resolved to continue seeking a diplomatic solution to the conflict, Ban Ki-moon says. The UN and Arab League are in negotiations to name Annan’s successor, who would “carry on this crucial peacemaking effort.”
Annan deserves “our profound admiration,” Ban pointed out, adding that he accepted the resignation “with deep regret.”
The UN and the Arab League appointed Annan as Special Envoy to Syria in February 2012. Annan then put forward a six-point peace plan, the demands of which included an immediate ceasefire, a ban on heavy weaponry, the free passage of aid, the freedom of media and demonstration and a Syrian-led transition of political power.
He admitted in early July that his plan had failed, as both the Syrian government and opposition refused to abide by the ceasefire, leaving no sign violence could decrease.
Syria has been torn by a civil conflict for 17 months. A popular uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad has taken over 15,000 lives. Over 200,000 refugees have fled the violence in the Arab country.
3 August, 2012
President Putin regrets Annan’s departure
The president of Russia Vladimir Putin said that he regrets that Kofi Annan is leaving his post as the special representative of the United Nations and League of the Arabian states.
The president stated that Kofi Annan was a worthy, brilliant diplomat and a very decent person, therefore it was a great pity. But he hopes, that efforts by the international community will continue towards the termination of the violence.
President Putin called the situation in Syria a tragedy.
Earlier the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon declared, that Kofi Annan “does not wish to prolong his mandate which expires on August, 31st”.
The United Nations and the League of Arab States are currently holding consultations to find a successor for his post.
Aug 3, 2012 01:10
U.N. chief announces resignation of special envoy to Syria
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) — The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon announced here Thursday the resignation of the UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria Kofi Annan.
“It is with deep regret that I have to announce the resignation of the UN-League of Arab States (AL) Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Kofi Annan,” Ban said in a statement released here by his spokesperson.
Annan has informed Ban and Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Nabil Elaraby of his intention not to renew his mandate when it expires on Aug. 31, 2012, the statement said.
Ban said he wished to express his deepest gratitude to Annan for the “determined and courageous” efforts he has made as the joint special envoy.
Ban and Elaraby jointly announced the appointment of former UN chief Kofi Annan as the two organizations’ joint special envoy on the Syrian crisis on Feb. 23.
The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Feb. 16 demanding the heads of the UN and the AL to appoint a special envoy to Syria, a country which has been troubled for months by tension and violence between anti-government protesters and the forces of President Bashar Assad.
“Kofi Annan deserves our profound admiration for the selfless way in which he has put his formidable skills and prestige to this most difficult and potentially thankless of assignments,” Ban said.
The UN chief now is in consultations with Elaraby on prompt appointment of a successor who can carry on this crucial peacemaking efforts.
Dialogue and diplomacy as the means to peacefully solve the Syrian crisis, as spelled out in the six-point plan proposed by Annan, has been not taken, even though it still remains the best hope for the people of Syria, Ban pointed out.
“Both the government and the opposition forces continue to demonstrate their determination to rely on ever-increasing violence. In addition, the persistent divisions within the Security Council have themselves become an obstacle to diplomacy, making the work of any mediator vastly more difficult,” he said.
The UN is committed to pursue through diplomacy an end to the violence and a Syrian-led solution that meets the legitimate democratic aspirations of its people, Ban noted.
The Russian envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin told reporters here that he “regretted” the resignation of Annan and offered gratitude to his mediation efforts.
Churkin said one of the reasons that Annan’s diplomatic efforts have gone through many difficulties is that his appeal for no further militarization of the Syrian conflicts was not really heeded by some influential countries in international community.
Russia opposes Syria resolution proposed by Arab countries
MOSCOW, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) — Russia would not support a draft U.N. resolution on Syria proposed by several Arab countries, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
The draft resolution, submitted to the U.N. General Assembly was “one-sided and unbalanced,” the ministry said in a statement published on its website.
“Moscow believes that the document in its current form does not contribute to the stabilization of the situation and does not help cease violence in Syria. For this reason, Russia will not support it,” the ministry said.
The resolution simply “put the entire responsibility” for the crisis on the Syrian authorities and did not mention the international community’s requirements for the opposition, the statement said, adding the approach would encourage the opposition to continue its armed conflict.
Several Arab nations last week turned to the General Assembly to seek approval of a resolution calling for a “political transition” and the establishment of a “democratic government” in Syria, after members of the Security Council failed to reach consensus on the issue.
The draft resolution also calls for sanctions against Damascus.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov has slammed the move, saying it was “incorrect” to raise this issue at the General Assembly, because it was the Security Council that dealt with problems of sanctions.
Unlike decisions by the Security Council, the General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding.
The foreign ministry reiterated the position in its Thursday statement, saying Russia believed such a resolution intruded on the prerogatives of the U.N. Security Council and ran contrary to the U.N. Charter provisions.
It also shifted the focus of a peace plan brokered by U.N.-Arab League joint special envoy Kofi Annan to the problem of ensuring political transition in Syria, which was not part of his current mandate, the ministry said.
The six-point peace plan, which emphasizes political and diplomatic settlement of the crisis in the conflict-torn Arab country, has been endorsed by relevant Security Council resolutions.
Russia was ready to make efforts toward solving the crisis in Syria “together with other international partners” based on the Annan plan, agreements reached at the Action Group meeting in Geneva and Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043, the ministry said.