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UN human rights chief urges international community to "act now" on Syria

High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, told the General Assembly that the Government of Syria has failed to protect its people.

The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay l
The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay l
Image: AP Photo/Jason DeCrow/PA Images

THE HIGH COMMISSIONER for Human Rights at the UN has appealed for member states to protect the Syrian people.

Navi Pillay told the General Assembly today:

The longer the international community fails to take action, the more the civilian population will suffer from countless atrocities committed against them.

The assembly met today to discuss the UN Human Rights Council’s report in which it condemned abuses carried out by Syrian authorities.

The meeting comes after the Security Council failed to agree on collective action after Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution endorsing Arab League efforts to end the crisis.

Pillay said this failure “appears to have emboldened the Syrian Government to launch an all-out assault in an effort to crush dissent with overwhelming force”.

She noted the huge scale of violence and said that: “Extensive reports of sexual violence, in particular rape, in places of detention, primarily men and boys, are particularly disturbing.”

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She added that security forces have killed more than 400 children as of the end of last month, with children as young as 10 being subjected to arrest and detention.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement last night that the UN would do all it can to help those in need and it urged all in Syria and the international community “to exert maximum efforts to help bring about a stop to the violence and a peaceful resolution to the crisis”.

Read: Head of Arab League observer mission to Syria resigns>

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