By José Luis Díaz, Amnesty International’s representative at the United Nations.
If there were still any doubts about just how massive the UN Security Council’s failure on Syria has been, today’s news out of Geneva surely put paid to them. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan surprised most observers this morning with his resignation as joint UN-Arab League envoy on Syria. The surprise is likely as much about the timing as anything else. No one at the United Nations would say it publicly, but all the players knew the “six-point plan” Annan crafted, and which the Security Council later endorsed, was moribund, if not dead. Annan’s resignation will also make it that much more difficult to renew the UN observation mission in Syria, an operation some Council members want shut down in two weeks’ time as there’s no ceasefire to observe. So the question really wasn’t whether Annan would throw in the towel, but when.