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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ahead of visit, new UN-Arab League envoy reiterates commitment to Syrian people

10 September 2012 – The new Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, today reiterated his commitment to serve the interests of the Syrian people and help to return stability to the Middle Eastern country.

“I do know it is a very difficult task, but I believe it is not my right to refuse and to try my best to give as much help as possible to the Syrian people,” said Mr. Brahimi, who will be heading to Damascus in the next few days, where he will meet with Syrian officials as well as representatives from civil society.

“As I said in New York, I reiterate that while performing my job, I will be in the service of the Syrian people alone and I will not have any master but the Syrian people,” Mr. Brahimi told reporters in Cairo after meeting with officials from the League of Arab States.

Last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Member States to provide strong and unified support to Mr. Brahimi, as he takes up his mission amid an intensifying conflict that shows no sign of abating.

More than 18,000 people, mostly civilians, have died since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began nearly 18 months ago. Amidst reports of an escalation in violence in recent weeks in many towns and villages, as well as the country's two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, UN agencies now estimate that some 2.5 million Syrians are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

An Algerian national who has served the UN in various high-level roles over the past two decades, Mr. Brahimi assumes the peace-facilitation role which had been carried out since February by a former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, with the aim of bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations in Syria, and promoting a peaceful solution to the conflict. Mr. Annan’s mandate ended on 31 August.

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