Himself a former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, Stephen Lewis went after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during an interview with the CBC on the Syrian crisis, saying Mr. Ki-moon does not command sufficient respect.
Stephen Lewis actually volunteered the negative comment about the UN Secretary General when he was asked during an interview with CBC News, via Skype, about the inability of the international community to put an end to the Syrian bloodbath. Mr. Lewis started by defending the UN record, saying the organisation had already passed a number of tests before the Syrian one. And then, we witnessed this break with the usual diplomatic niceties: "But if I may make a slightly acid comment -- forgive me -- I think one of the tests of the UN is Ban Ki-moon. And Ban Ki-moon is not the kind of authoritative secretary general who is able to command sufficient attention and respect at the Security Council level to move this forward, something in his day Kofi Annan could probably have done."
Mr. Lewis had only nice words for former UN Secretary General and Joint Special Envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, who resigned earlier this week after the collapse of his mission. "As long as Russia will use its veto in the UN, no successor (to Annan) will be able to effect a solution" said Lewis.
On the Syrian crisis itself, the former Canadian ambassador and former UN Special Envoy to Africa is not optimistic and seems now to support the idea of military intervention. He said that although it is difficult to predict the outcome of the crisis, it is clear that "the Russians have decided to allow the fighting to rage on until some kind of finale", and it is even quite possible that Al Qaida could show up in the middle of the ruins. But one thing is certain, according to Mr. Lewis, the Syrian conflict will become a nightmare for years and generations to come.