Erdoğan slams UN for Syria inaction, calls for reform
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated his call for reform of the United Nations, saying the world body, which remains deadlocked over how to respond to the crisis in Syria, is no longer capable of showing global leadership.

"I have to say that the UN is no longer able to lead by addressing the fears that threaten the future of humanity," Erdoğan said at an international forum in Bali, Indonesia. "The [fate of] the world cannot be left to what the five permanent members [of the UN Security Council] have to say. If we leave it to the five permanent members, humanity will continue to bleed."

Turkey, which has been lobbying for months for greater international involvement in the 19-month Syrian crisis, is frustrated by the stalemate in the 15-nation UN Security Council, where permanent members Russia and China have blocked attempts to pass a resolution criticizing the Syrian regime for bloodshed in the country. Russia and China blocked such a resolution, fearing that it could lead to a military intervention in Syria similar to the one that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

Any of the five permanent members has the right to veto a Security Council resolution.

Erdoğan said the deadlock in the UN Security Council encourages President Bashar al-Assad's regime to continue using violence to suppress rebellion against his rule. "Encouraged by the blockade in the UN, the Syrian regime continues to massacre its own people. Attempts to justify silence in the face of this humanitarian tragedy in the name of [not upsetting] international balances will not assuage the conscience of humanity, nor will they relieve us of our responsibilities before history," said the prime minister.

Turkey, once an ally of Assad, is now one of his strongest opponents. Ankara has offered support for the opposition trying to topple him and called for greater international support for the opposition. It has also fortified its border and vowed to punish any transgression of the frontier by Syrian forces, launching several retaliatory strikes on Syrian targets since a mortar bomb fired from Syria killed five civilians in a border town on Oct. 3.

Erdoğan said Turkey supported a new administration in Syria in which all ethnic and religious groups in Syria will be represented. Underlining the Syrian crisis, which has dragged on for far longer than any other Arab Spring uprising, Erdoğan stated that the death toll in Syria has reached 50,000. "Just in Turkey, there are 110,000 people seeking sheltering," he said.

Erdoğan in his speech also said that the terms democracy, human rights and supremacy of law no longer belong to a specific region or group. "They have become values that are important for the whole world," said Erdoğan.

IMF reform

In his speech, Erdoğan said the reform should include other key international organizations as well, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "We believe that the IMF should go through a similar process of extensive reform," adding that reform in global economic institutions should address injustices in global income distribution and set combating poverty and ensuring sustainable development as priorities.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-11-08 20:00:01
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