Ban said world leaders had vowed to act to prevent a repetition of the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and 1995 massacre in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica.  — File Photo
Ban said world leaders had vowed to act to prevent a repetition of the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and 1995 massacre in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica. — File Photo
A picture taken on September 9, 2013, shows Russia
A picture taken on September 9, 2013, shows Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attending a Security Council meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin in his Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow. Yesterday Lavrov proposed for the Syrian regime to cede control of its chemical arms and subsequently have them destroyed, having seized a remark by US Secretary of State John Kerry that such a move, done "without delay" could avert a military strike. — Photo by AFP
US President Barack Obama (L) walks to his motorcade at the White House en route to Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Democratic and Republican leaders on September 10, 2013 in Washington. Obama said a Russian plan to head off threatened US strikes on Syria by securing a deal to destroy the regime
US President Barack Obama (L) walks to his motorcade at the White House en route to Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Democratic and Republican leaders on September 10, 2013 in Washington. Obama said a Russian plan to head off threatened US strikes on Syria by securing a deal to destroy the regime's chemical weapons could be a "significant breakthrough." The US leader had intended to spend the day selling his plan to launch punitive military strikes against Bashar al-Assad's regime to skeptical American voters and l
A man walks through a destroyed residential area of the Syrian city of Saraqib, southwest of Aleppo, on September 9, 2013, following repeated airstrikes by government forces
A man walks through a destroyed residential area of the Syrian city of Saraqib, southwest of Aleppo, on September 9, 2013, following repeated airstrikes by government forces' fighter jets. US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the idea of placing Syrian chemical weapons under international control at last week's G20 summit in Saint Petersburg, Putin's spokesman said on September 10, 2013. — Photo by AFP

UNITED NATIONS: UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday the failure to halt atrocities in Syria has become a new stain on the reputation of the world body and the Security Council powers.

“Our collective failure to prevent atrocity crimes in Syria of the past two-and-a-half years will remain a heavy burden on the standing of the United Nations and its member states,” Ban told a UN meeting on preventing genocide.

Speaking ahead of a new bid by Russia and the United States to head off a possible military strike on Syria, Ban said the UN Security Council must play “an effective role in promoting an end to the Syrian tragedy.”

Ban said world leaders had vowed to act to prevent a repetition of the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and 1995 massacre in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica.

The Security Council was widely blamed for failing to act over the horrific events. And the 193-country UN General Assembly agreed the “responsibility to protect” doctrine in 2005, which has since been used to back UN military mandates for crises in Libya and Ivory Coast.

“As we see around us, however, atrocities continue to be committed,” Ban said highlighting the Syria case. “Many observers regard the international community's divisions and immobility as a failure of the responsibility to protect,” he added, while insisting that the doctrine remains an important weapon.

Russian Plan

Russian officials have given the US a plan to put Syria's chemical weapons arsenal under international control as diplomats from Moscow and Washington prepare for a key meeting in Geneva, a Russian source said on Wednesday.

“We handed over to Americans a plan to place chemical weapons in Syria under international control, we expect to discuss it in Geneva,” state news agency ITAR-Tass quoted a source in the Russian delegation as saying.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are to meet in Geneva Thursday in a bid to agree Security Council measures against the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

US leader Barack Obama has threatened a military strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, accusing them of staging an August 21 attack with sarin gas that Washington claims killed 1,400 people.

Russia has defended Assad since demonstrations against him turned into a full scale civil war. Moscow, backed by China, has vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions proposed by Western nations that aimed to increase pressure on Assad.

Airstrike

Syrian activists say government warplanes have hit a field hospital near the northern city of Aleppo, killing 11 people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says dozens more were wounded by the missiles that slammed into the facility in the town of al-Bab on Wednesday.

The group, which relies on reports from activists on the ground, said a Yemeni doctor was among those killed in the airstrike.

President Bashar Assad's regime has in the past year relied heavily on its air power to regain control of territory it lost to the opposition, pounding suspected rebel targets with war planes and helicopters, particularly in the north where the opposition controls large swathes of land and parts of Aleppo, Syria's largest city.

Published Sep 12, 2013 05:28am

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