Top U.N. official warns Security Council to act now on two diplomatic crises

U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert H. Serry warned the Security Council on Wednesday that now is the critical time to bring diplomatic resources to both the Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

Serry urged the Security Council to follow the Russian Federation and the U.S.'s lead to bring both sides of the Syrian crisis to the negotiating table.

"This is the time for concerted action in support of substantive initiative, lest we miss the slight opening that has been offered in recent months," Serry said.

Serry told the Security council that there was no time to lose in bringing Syrian parties to the negotiating table, not just for the safety of Syrian civilians but also to uphold regional security for nations housing refugees. Lebanon reported shelling from Syria across its border.

Serry also said there is no time to waste in bringing the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict to an end. Progress has been made to date and Serry urged the Security Council to keep up the momentum.

"Palestinians have shown countenance in diplomatic fora, and Palestinian security forces have maintained their robust performance in maintaining law and order," Serry said.

Although relations have improved, violence has continued with the recent murder of an Israeli by a Palestinian in the West Bank and the violation of the Gaza strip ceasefire.

"Now is the time to intensify efforts to agree to a way forward and avoid an institutional vacuum," Serry said.