UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] on Monday urged the international community [statement] to help facilitate negotiations between warring parties in Syria. Although Pillay criticized global leaders for not acting sooner to stop the violent conflict in Syria, she warned that a military response would not be effective. Pillay observed that any course of action in Syria by the international community would be challenging, but that negotiation would be the best method for ending the conflict:
This appalling situation cries out for international action, yet a military response or the continued supply of arms risk igniting a regional conflagration, possibly resulting in many more deaths and even more widespread misery. There are no easy exits, no obvious pathway out of this nightmare, except the immediate negotiation of concrete steps to end the conflict. States, together with the United Nations, must find a way to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table and halt the bloodshed.In her speech, Pillay also drew attention to human rights concerns in nations such as Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain and Turkey.
The Syrian Civil War [JURIST backgrounder] has been ongoing since 2011 when opposition groups first began protesting the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and the increasingly bloody nature of the conflict has put pressure on the international community to intervene. Earlier this week JURIST guest columnist Curtis Doebbler argued [JURIST op-ed] that the use of military force against Syria would constitute a violation of international law. Last week the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official website] approved a joint resolution [JURIST report] authorizing the limited use of force against Syria. Also last week UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon questioned the legality [JURIST report] of the US plan to strike Syria.