(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday warned that the risks of the conflict in Syria of spilling over the region were "clear," and urged the Security Council to unite and find a solution that would stop the bloodshed.
"The risks to the wider region are clear. Already, we are seeing spillover effects, inflamed tensions, and outbreaks of violence in Syria's neighbours," Ban said in a lecture at Yale University on "Shaping solutions for a world in transition".
"Syria is a stark reminder of how much is at stake - and how much can be lost - if the international community does not unite for peace, and if leaders do not heed the demands of their people for empowerment, openness and dignity, " he added.
He indicated that "many leaders who failed to move with the democratic tenor of the times, ... leaders who seem to think winds of change will not blow their way at all, ... are now gone from the scene -or may not be at the helms of their countries for much longer".
He said he repeatedly told Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to listen to his people. "But in the face of peaceful protests, the regime resorted to force - it seemed to know no other way".
He recalled his warning to the Government and the opposition alike that there was "no military solution," adding that Syria needs a clean break from the past and that the transition they need can be achieved through negotiation and dialogue.
On the humanitarian situation in the country, Ban said the UN is rushing medicine and food to Syrians inside of the country and to the hundreds of thousands who have fled to the neighbouring countries, adding that two and a half million people desperately need help.
He predicted that the number could reach four million with the coming winter and the escalating conflict.