Kofi Annan Quits as UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy


United Nations-League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy for the Syrian crisis, Kofi Annan has announced his intention not to renew his mandate when it expires on 31 August 2012.

Reports say Mr. Annan has informed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonn and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Mr. Nabil El Araby on his resignation as UN League Joint Special envoy for the Syrian crisis

Mr. Ban has expressed his deepest gratitude to Mr. Annan for the determined and courageous efforts he has made as the Joint Special Envoy for Syria.”

Mr. Annan, a former UN Secretary-General, was appointed in late February to serve as the high-level representative of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis. The appointment aimed bring an end to all violence and human rights violations, and promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.

As part of his efforts, Mr. Annan put forward a six-point peace plan to help end the Syrian crisis.

Despite initial signs of acceptance of the plan and repeated calls from UN officials, there has been little in the way of the plan’s implementation by the parties to the conflict.

“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 not taken, even though it still remains the best hope for the people of Syria.” -Mr. Ban

Meanwhile, at DC today, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she spoke with Kofi Annan and thanked him on behalf of the United States for his service as the UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria.

Ms. Clinton says Mr. Annan took on the heavy task of trying to bring an end to the killing of civilians in Syria and to forge a path toward a peaceful political transition and an inclusive, representative post-Assad Syria.

Ms. Clinton stresses that Mr. Annan has worked tirelessly to try to build consensus in the international community, end the bloodshed, and usher in a government that would meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.

“Unfortunately, the Security Council was blocked from giving him key tools to advance his efforts.” -Ms. Clinton

Ms. Clinton also wishes Kofi Annan well in his future endeavors.

Ms. Clinton underlines that the United States continues to stand with the Syrian people.

“We remain committed to an effective and swift political transition as envisioned under the Annan framework.” -Ms. Clinton

Last week, with half of the 300 observers serving with the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) went home this week, the world body’s top peacekeeping official said the United Nations is not packing up and going home.

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous clarified that the observers sent home could be recalled if circumstances in the country change.

At the news conference in Damascus, Mr. Ladsous noted that the decision to send half of the 300 observers home was taken in view of the constraints they faced, particularly in terms of security.

Also last week, the United Nations peacekeeping chief said crisis remains “of utmost concern.”

In addition, the Council has extended UNSMIS for a final period of 30 days.

In May this year, with the ongoing violence in Syria, the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian Crisis Kofi Annan said the UN observer mission is possibly the only remaining chance to stabilize the war-torn country.

Mr. Annan has stressed that the ongoing levels of violence and human rights abuses in the Middle Eastern country are unacceptable.

He has said that it is clear that the presence of the observers serving with the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) has had a calming effect in some situations.

In April this year, UN Security Council authorized a UN supervision mission in Syria, charged with monitoring compliance with the full set of commitments and obligations laid out in Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s Six-Point Plan.

The “United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS)is comprised of an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers as well as an appropriate civilian component.”

Since the adoption of resolution 2042, in which the Council unanimously called on the Syrian government to honor all its obligations, including a sustained cessation of violence.

However, the regime has unleashed yet another wave of horrific violence against its own people resulting in the deaths of scores of Syrians daily.

Reports say the government’s use of shelling and heavy weaponry, in particular in Homs, has reached levels that surpass those before the ceasefire.

In addition, reports say precious little progress had been made on the issue of humanitarian access, with an estimated one million civilians still in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 10,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.