Kofi Annan to quit Syria role
02 August 2012
Kofi Annan has announced he is to quit his role as the joint United Nations and Arab League envoy to Syria at the end of August.
The news was announced by current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who said Annan deserved "profound admiration" for attempting to solve the Syria crisis and that a replacement would be appointed soon.
Annan developed a six-point peace plan in an attempt to end the ongoing violence in April this year, when fighting had already plagued the country for over a year.
Official estimates now say that more than two million people have been displaced by the violence and nearly three million are said to need food, crops and livestock assistance. Over 10,000 civilians are also said to have been killed in the fighting.
"Tragically, the spiral of violence in Syria is continuing," Ban said in a statement.
"The hand extended to turn away from violence in favour of dialogue and diplomacy - as spelled out in the six-point plan - has not been taken, even though it still remains the best hope for the people of Syria.
"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."
Annan himself is said to have blamed "finger pointing and name calling" in the Security Council for the failure of his plan and, ultimately, his decision to quit.
Russia, which supported Annan's peace plan while vetoing plans for across-the-board sanctions put before the Security Council, said it "regretted" Annan's resignation.
The country's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said: "We have supported very strongly Kofi Annan's efforts. He has another month to go, and I hope this month is going to be used as effectively as possible under these very difficult circumstances."
HAVE YOUR SAY
03 August 2012
Good for him!! A man of integrety.
The UN wanted something done, he proposed a workable plan...the UN then let him down.
The UN is no longer fit for the job it was set up to do.
Like our MOD it should be disbanded and replaced but alas it will never be.
JC - UK
19 August 2012
Kofi Annan is a fool if he ever thought his political grandstanding was going to do anything except buy more time for the Russians and their Syrian puppets to kill more innocent people. That may well have been the intention.
By resigning now, Annan is presumably hoping that he can somehow salvage his political reputation. He still seems to have some friends in Russia, to judge from Vitaly Churkin's comments. That's isn't surprising, because whether intentionally or otherwise, his six-point peace plan has provided a convenient smokescreen for their ruthless foreign policy. They don't care how many Syrian people they have to kill in order to keep the Assad regime in power. And Kofi Annan's refusal to recognise that fact and it's implications condemns him in the eyes of history.
J. Southworth - University of Hull