Ban: Political solution is only answer in Syria
Since it began in March 2011, the Syrian conflict has killed more than 70,000 people, most of them civilians. The uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has also displaced more than three million Syrians since it began.
"The tragedy in Syria worsens by the day," Ban said. "The military dynamic is destroying the country and imperiling the region. Civilians are paying the price and must be protected. The prospects may seem dim, but I remain convinced that a political solution is possible. This is the only way to end the bloodshed and bring about a new and democratic Syria. The United Nations will continue to push in that direction."
Ban said the U.N. is doing its best to deliver aid and other desperately needed support to help the difficulties of more than one million refugees in the neighborhoods of Syria.
Ban called on Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime to accept his plans for a U.N. team of experts to investigate the allegations of chemical weapons use in the country. On March 20, Syria's government requested an independent, impartial and specialized mission to look into chemical weapon use in Aleppo in March.
The team has been in Cyprus for more than a week, ready to deploy as soon as the government agrees to allow the team to probe allegations of chemical weapons use in Homs during a December attack.
"I have been urging the Syrian government to show flexibility in accepting the proposed modalities," Ban said.