Kofi Annan Resigns As U.N. Envoy To Syria

Kofi Annan has resigned as the U.N. Envoy to Syria after peace efforts in the region have failed. Annan stated that he has resigned as the U.N. and Arab League joint special envoy, after “increasing militarization on the ground” and “the clear lack of unity” in the U.N. Security Council.

Annan spoke with the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El Araby to say that he does not wish to renew his mandate after it expires on August 31, reports CNN.

New York by Ban Ki-moon stated of Annan’s decision that:

“The severity of the humanitarian costs of the conflict, and the exceptional threats posed by this crisis to international peace and security, justified the attempts to secure a peaceful transition to a political settlement, however daunting the challenge. The increasing militarization on the ground and the clear lack of unity in the Security Council have fundamentally changed the circumstances for the effective exercise of my role.”

The Washington Post notes that Ban went on to say of Kofi Annan’s resignation:

“Yet the bloodshed continues, most of all because of the Syrian government’s intransigence and continuing refusal to implement the six-point plan, and also because of the escalating military campaign of the opposition, all of which is compounded by the disunity of the international community. At a time when we need — when the Syrian people desperately need action, there continues to be finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security Council.”

The U.N. Chief faulted both President Bashar al-Assad’s government, as well as the Syrian opposition for Kori Annan’s resignation, stating that they both failed to embrace the U.N. Envoy’s six-point peace plan. He also accused the U.N. Security Council of failing to help Annan by providing the necessary political backing to help the plan succeed. Ban went on to say in a statement released from the U.N.’s headquarters:

“Tragically, the spiral of violence in Syria is continuing. The hand extended to turn away from violence in favor 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.”

Annan’s departure comes almost two weeks after both Russian and China moved to block a Western-backed resolution, which would have helped support Annan’s mediation effort with sanctions. The impasse undermined the U.N. Envoy’s negotiating leverage, allowing Syrian forces to enter into more violent conflict.

It is not yet clear who will be taking Kofi Annan’s place after his resignation as the U.N. Envoy to Syria. Annan stated of the peace efforts in Syria that:

“This can only succeed — indeed any peacemaking effort can only prosper — when the parties to the violence make a firm commitment to dialogue, and when the international community is strongly united in support.”