In Brazil, UN chief set to confer with national leaders
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is set to meet Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota and members of the national Parliament during his final stop on a four-nation visit that has already taken him to Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay.
Mr. Ban arrived in Brasilia late yesterday from Uruguay, where he addressed that country’s Parliament, noting that Uruguay had lived through a dark period of dictatorship and human rights abuses, but had managed to transform itself into a progressive and tolerant nation.
He also noted that people in the Middle East and North Africa are also calling for freedom and democracy.
The Secretary-General once again urged Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to protect the country’s people, respect their rights, listen to demands for reform and create proper conditions for refugees to return.
“Implement meaningful reform now before it is too late,” said Mr. Ban in a message directed at Mr. Assad.
Syrian authorities have been widely criticised for their bloody repression of the protests, which are part of a broader uprising this year across North Africa and the Middle East that has already toppled the long-standing regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and led to ongoing conflict in Libya.