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Russia: Security Council never focused on substance - Kofi Annan on Syrian conflict02:08

Russia: Security Council never focused on substance - Kofi Annan on Syrian conflict

Russian Federation, Moscow
July 15, 2013 at 10:56 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russia: Security Council never focused on substance - Kofi Annan on Syrian conflict

Former United Nations Secretary General and former UN and Arab League Envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan held a press conference introducing his book 'Interventions: A Life in War and Peace' on Monday in Moscow. Annan also commented on issues surrounding the Arab spring, the UN and Syria.

In his book Annan writes about highs and lows of his years at the UN: shuttle-diplomacy during crises such as Kosovo, Lebanon and Israel-Palestine, and about Iraq. Annan also touches upon the issue of ongoing challenges and failed efforts of the UN, like conflicts in Bosnia, Rwanda and Somalia and struggle against HIV/AIDS.

Annan touched on the Arab spring, "It's a lack of civil liberties that has led to the Arab awakening. I use a word awakening, not spring - spring implies a short [period]. But I have a feeling we are going to have to live with this for 10 to 15 years, and it's going to take quite a lot of time to settle."

Annan went on to say, "On the Syrian situation, I think, it's very tragic. Last year, in June last year we had the first Geneva conference which I chaired as a mediator. And we came up with a communique where everyone agreed that the solution had to be a political settlement. [...] I had expected the Security Council to go to New York, because five permanent members were with me in Geneva ... to go New York and follow through on this decision. They went to New York and started finger-pointing and name-calling. And they never focused on the substance. A year later they are coming back to build on Geneva of 2012 and they want to have a Geneva-2 to build on this. In the meantime, thousands have died."

When asked to comment further on the Syrian issue the diplomat said, "I think the Syrian situation is going to be much worse before it gets better. And I hope the second Geneva conference will take place as soon as possible and that the member states will work together to try and influence their allies in the region. And we also have to accept that Iran has to be part of the solution. We cannot exclude it."

Russia: Security Council never focused on substance - Kofi Annan on Syrian conflict02:08
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Russia: Security Council never focused on substance - Kofi Annan on Syrian conflict

Former United Nations Secretary General and former UN and Arab League Envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan held a press conference introducing his book 'Interventions: A Life in War and Peace' on Monday in Moscow. Annan also commented on issues surrounding the Arab spring, the UN and Syria.

In his book Annan writes about highs and lows of his years at the UN: shuttle-diplomacy during crises such as Kosovo, Lebanon and Israel-Palestine, and about Iraq. Annan also touches upon the issue of ongoing challenges and failed efforts of the UN, like conflicts in Bosnia, Rwanda and Somalia and struggle against HIV/AIDS.

Annan touched on the Arab spring, "It's a lack of civil liberties that has led to the Arab awakening. I use a word awakening, not spring - spring implies a short [period]. But I have a feeling we are going to have to live with this for 10 to 15 years, and it's going to take quite a lot of time to settle."

Annan went on to say, "On the Syrian situation, I think, it's very tragic. Last year, in June last year we had the first Geneva conference which I chaired as a mediator. And we came up with a communique where everyone agreed that the solution had to be a political settlement. [...] I had expected the Security Council to go to New York, because five permanent members were with me in Geneva ... to go New York and follow through on this decision. They went to New York and started finger-pointing and name-calling. And they never focused on the substance. A year later they are coming back to build on Geneva of 2012 and they want to have a Geneva-2 to build on this. In the meantime, thousands have died."

When asked to comment further on the Syrian issue the diplomat said, "I think the Syrian situation is going to be much worse before it gets better. And I hope the second Geneva conference will take place as soon as possible and that the member states will work together to try and influence their allies in the region. And we also have to accept that Iran has to be part of the solution. We cannot exclude it."