Kofi Annan steps down as UN-Arab League envoy

  • UN-Arab League joint special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, has announced he is stepping down from his post.

    Speaking at a news conference, Annan said the Syrian people "desperately need action" and criticized the UN Security Council for "finger-pointing and name-calling".

    "Syria can still be saved from the worst calamity - if the international community can show the courage and leadership necessary to compromise on their partial interests for the sake of the Syrian people - for the men, women and children who have already suffered far too much,” he said.

    Annan had authored a six-point peace plan intended to bring an end to the violence.

    However, the plan was never fully adhered and the conflict has worsened.

    Russia and China vetoed resolutions on the crisis three times due to a disagreement over actions that could be interpreted as regime change imposed from outside.

    UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon said he was in talks with the Arab League to find a successor to "carry on this crucial peacemaking effort".

    According to activists, some 20,000 people have died since anti-government protests broke out against President Bashar al-Assad last March.