Ban Ki-moon calls for Syria action
New York - UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday that the international community must now act against the Syrian government's crackdown on protests "in the name of humanity".
Ban told a press conference he has sent a UN Human Rights Council report on President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown to the UN Security Council. This could increase pressure on the 15-nation council to act even though Russia and China vetoed a resolution on the crisis in October.
"In Syria, more than 5 000 people are dead. This cannot go on. In the name of humanity, it is time for the international community to act," the UN secretary general said.
Ban said the UN rights report, which highlighted that crimes against humanity may have been committed in Syria, had been sent to the Security Council and the UN General Assembly and it was now up to member states to take a decision.
"I hope that the United Nations and the international community will be able to take concerted, coherent action."
The UN leader praised action taken by the Arab League against Syria.
League foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on Saturday to respond to Syria's proposal to admit observers in exchange for an end to regional sanctions.
Western nations, which proposed the Security Council resolution that was blocked by Russia and China in October, say they are waiting for the Arab League meeting to decide their next action.
Diplomats said Russia would almost certainly use its veto again unless there is a strong Arab lead on the Syria crisis.