Istanbul: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Syria on Thursday to stop its attacks, saying UN observers monitoring the ceasefire were not there to watch the killing of innocent people.
"We are there to record violations and to speak out so that the perpetrators of crimes may be held to account," Ban told a summit of the Alliance of Civilisations, a forum promoting understanding between the Western and Islamic worlds, days after more than 100 people were massacred in Syria's central Houla region.
"The more the international community knows," Ban said, "the more likely it is that we can advance on our most important goal: to help find a political solution, a solution that safeguards the lives and interests of all the Syrian people."
"Let me state plainly, however: The UN did not deploy in Syria just to bear witness to the slaughter of innocents," he said. "We are not there to play the role of passive observer to unspeakable atrocities."
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, called on the world to pay heed to the desperation of families whose children are massacred in Syria.
Erdogan said these are "our children who are massacred in Hama, Homs and Houla, as much they are the children of desperate Syrian families."
He said the world should not remain silent in the face of "oppression”.
First Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 16:20