Mr. Ban rejected the “language of delegitimization and threats of potential military action by one state against another.”
“Any such attacks would be devastating,” he said. “The shrill war talk of recent weeks has been alarming and should remind us of the need for peaceful solutions and full respect of the United Nations Charter and international law.”
“Leaders have a responsibility to use their voices to lower tensions instead of raising the temperatures and volatility of the moment,” he added.
The U.N. chief, in remarks to the General Assembly, also touched on the civil war in Syria, which he said is growing “worse by worse.” The uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, which started in March 2011, is a “regional calamity with global ramifications,” he said.
Mr. Ban said nations must stop arming both sides in the conflict, hold perpetrators of human rights abuse to account and back a Syria-led transition.
“Humanitarian needs are escalating. … The international community should not look the other way as the violence spirals out of control,” he said. “It is the duty of our generation to put an end to impunity for international crimes in Syria and elsewhere.”
He struck a pessimistic note on the future of peace in the Middle East.
The door of opportunity for implementing a two-state solution to resolve the Israel-Palestinian issue “may be closing for good,” he said, attributing this to the unchecked growth of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory.
Palestinians have endured decades of “harsh occupation and humiliating restrictions” and must be able to realize their right to a viable state of their own, he said. Israel, too, “must be able to live in peace and security free from threats and rockets,” he added.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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