UNITED NATIONS -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is demanding international action to stop the war in Syria, which is now "a regional calamity with global ramifications."
In his annual state of the world speech at Tuesday's opening of the U.N. General Assembly's ministerial meeting, Ban said he was sounding the alarm about widespread insecurity and injustice, inequality and intolerance in many countries.
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Putting the spotlight on Syria, he said "the international community should not look the other way as violence spirals out of control."
Ban said the 18-month conflict is a growing threat to international peace that requires attention from the deeply divided U.N. Security Council.
He also expressed "profound concern" at continuing violence in Afghanistan and Congo, unrest in Africa's Sahel region, the dangerous Israeli-Palestinian impasse and "shrill war talk" from Israel.