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UN General Assembly to take up Aleppo on Thursday

Update: October, 20/2016 - 11:00

UNITED NATIONS, United States - The UN General Assembly will discuss the worsening violence in Syria today after the Security Council failed to take action to end the bombing raids on Aleppo and revive peace efforts.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address the 193-nation assembly as will peace envoy Staffan de Mistura by videoconference from Geneva as prospects for ending the five-year war appear dim.

The meeting was called after 70 countries led by Canada signed a letter requesting that the humanitarian crisis in Syria be taken up at the General Assembly.

Of the 70 signatories, China and Russia are notably absent as are most African countries and four Security Council members -- Angola, Japan, Senegal and Venezuela.

Canada’s Ambassador Marc-Andre Blanchard said the meeting will allow UN member-states to discuss the crisis, but that there is no concrete plan of action.

"This is a time for the world to make sure we do everything possible to explore all ways to get to a cessation of hostilities and provide the humanitarian assistance needed on an urgent basis," Blanchard said.

Human rights groups however are calling on the assembly to do just that.

Human Rights Watch is calling on the assembly to establish a special investigative panel to prepare cases for future prosecution of war crimes in Syria.

The assembly has adopted two resolutions demanding an end to the fighting in Syria and has condemned human rights violations.

Russia has vetoed five resolutions at the Security Council on Syria. — AFP

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