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Ban urges pressure on Syria, slams North Korea

Published on Feb 14, 2013 5:56 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon urged the Security Council on Wednesday to overcome its paralysis and take meaningful action on Syria, and slammed North Korea's "reckless" nuclear test.

"It is essential for the Security Council to overcome the deadlock and find the unity that will make meaningful action possible," in Syria, Mr Ban said in a speech at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington.

While the 15-member Council remains deadlocked and Syria - where the UN estimates that nearly 70,000 people have died - is politically polarised, deaths and human rights violations are mounting, Mr Ban said.

Russia and China have vetoed three Western-drafted resolutions that would simply have threatened sanctions against Bashar al-Assad's regime and a UN-led bid to arrange a ceasefire and peace talks has made no headway.

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