UN secretary-general calls on all sides in Thailand to refrain from violence

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NEW YORK, 18 December 2013 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at his year-end press conference, stressed the need for everybody involved to quickly act to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria, and also called on all sides in Thailand to refrain from violence. 

Mr. Ban said 2013 was the year in which the Syrian conflict deteriorated beyond all imagination, and the people of Syria cannot afford another year of brutality and destruction. He said everybody should be deeply concerned by findings that chemical weapons were used on several occasions against civilians in Syria. He noted the UN must also overcome the severe underfunding of the relief effort for Syria, and called for generous support from member countries.

Mr. Ban said 2013 was also the year in which the Central African Republic descended into chaos, and he was gravely concerned about the potential for mass atrocities. He called on the country’s transitional authorities to protect people, and said he welcomed the deployment of African and French troops, who are already making a difference in that country.

The UN secretary-general also called on all sides in Thailand to refrain from violence. He noted he welcomed the Thai government’s decision to resolve the country’s political tensions through a democratic process.