Kofi Annan on Thursday resigned his post as the UN and Arab League special envoy to Syria, citing “finger pointing and name calling” in the UN Security Council for his departure.
“When the Syrian people desperately need action, there continues to be finger pointing and name calling in the Security Council,” Annan told reporters. “It is impossible for me or anyone to compel the Syrian government and also the opposition to take the steps to bring about the political process.”
“As an envoy, I can’t want peace more than the protagonists, more than Security Council or the international community, for that matter,” he added.
Annan said the failed six-point plan commonly referred to as the Annan plan is, in fact, the Security Council’s plan. He said he expects his 6-point peace plan and the “Syria Action Group” to continue after his departure.
He did not rule out the possibility of a successor being appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, since “the world is full of crazy people like me, so don’t be surprised if someone else decides to take it on.”
Ban announced Annan’s resignation Thursday afternoon saying, “Mr. Annan has informed me, and the secretary-general of the League of Arab States, Mr. Nabil El Araby, of his intention not to renew his mandate when it expires on 31 August 2012.”
Ban thanked Annan for “the selfless way in which he has put his formidable skills and prestige to this most difficult and potentially thankless of assignments.”
Annan assumed the position of special envoy in February in an attempt to mediate a resolution to the ongoing conflict between Syrian President Bashar Assad and opposition groups.
Annan had grown “impatient and frustrated” with the situation in Syria by the beginning of June and called on Assad to implement a UN-brokered peace plan following a horrific weekend massacre that killed more than 100 people.
“I know we are all impatient, we are all frustrated by the violence, by the killings … I think perhaps I am more frustrated than most of you because I am in the thick of things,” he told reporters at a press conference on June 1.