UNITED NATIONS- A UN official warned on Tuesday that the security situation in Syria may soon spiral out of control if the United Nations Security Council does not act immediately, reminding the international community that "time is running out."
Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez Taranco told the Security Council during its monthly meeting on the situation in the Middle East "a truly joint effort by the Council, one that delivers unified and sustained pressure to demand compliance in full with the six-point plan, is urgently needed. Otherwise, we may be reaching the day when it will be too late to stop the crisis from spiraling out of control."
Taranco said "we welcome and encourage ongoing efforts to find common purpose in the international community. It is urgent that these consultations yield real results soon. The "tragic" human suffering resulting from the escalating conflict, he insisted, calls for "urgent and concerted efforts to avoid a full-scale civil war. Time is running out."
Fernandez Taranco also told the Council that shelling and firing against population centers by government forces, including tanks and helicopters, "must stop immediately," and that the cessation of armed violence in all its forms is an "obligation for all sides. The opposition too must abide by it."
On the humanitarian front, he said access is "still very limited and the gap between what is needed and what is provided remains far too wide." On the situation in Egypt, he said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon continues to follow events closely and looks forward to the "early handover of full authority to a civilian government."
"He (Ban) underscores his concern that the country's transition should meet the legitimate expectations of the Egyptian people and of the international community for the establishment of strong, representative, democratic institutions and for the popular will to be respected - both in the elections and in the drafting of a new Constitution," he added.
Last week, Under Secretary-General for Peace-Keeping Operations Herve Ladsous told reporters that what is happening in Syria is already a civil war.