UN humanitarian officials give grim assessment of Syria situation
Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:34AM
A grim assessment of the situation in Syria. The U-N's most senior humanitarian officials have briefed the Security Council on the realities on the ground in the Arab nation. The U-N's High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an International Criminal Court investigation into the conflict. But Council delegates are skeptical about a possible agreement. Press TV’s UN correspondent Hank Flynn is in New York with more details.Sixthy thousand people are dead in Syria and millions of refugees are displaced internally and across the region -- according to UN numbers. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay briefed the UN Security Council on the dismal situation on Friday -- and demanded action. Pillay -- who was joined at the briefing by Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos -- said the number speak for themselves. Amos says that humanitarian response efforts are being hurt by member states not giving enough money -- and Pillay simply added that she's disappointed by the Council's inability to perform. Pillay was also not clear whether the investigation would include the member states that have provided money and weapons to foreign-backed militants working to overthrow the Syrian government. One of those member states -- France -- was joined by the UK -- Australia -- South Korea -- and Luxembourg to meet the press afterward. They acknowledged the briefing and the worsening humanitarian situation -- but a Council-based political solution has never seemed more out of reach. Recognition of the brutality and the humanitarian need inside of Syria is not the problem on Council right now. Political paralyzation is -- and that's something that British ambassador Mark Lyall Grant stated very clearly. Grant added that at least one member state was opposed to the idea of an ICC investigation -- but reports are that several states actually stand opposed. Russia and China have stood firmly opposed to Western meddling in Syria -- but that hasn't stopped terrorists and other foreign-backed operators from doing their work in Syria. Earlier this week -- Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja'Afari blasted France for that meddling -- both in Syria and Mali. Ja'Afari did not speak at the stakeout on Friday -- and France made no mention of its recent -- and heavy -- military intervention in Mali. The Pakistani ambassador serving as Council President for the month said that a Council press statement on Mali may be forthcoming in the next day.