UN chief urges Security Council to end Syria deadlock

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on the Security Council Wednesday to overcome its paralysis and take "meaningful" action to stop the bloodshed in Syria where nearly 70,000 people have died.

"It is essential for the Security Council to overcome the deadlock and find the unity that will make meaningful action possible," he said at the Organization of American States here.

Ban said that while the 15-member Council remains paralyzed and Syria politically polarized, the deaths and human rights violations are mounting.

"It's long past time we resolved this conflict," he said, adding that the international community must keep pushing for a political solution despite the difficulties.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said Tuesday that almost 70,000 people have died in the conflict, which is now nearly two years old.

Russia and China have vetoed three western-drafted resolutions which would simply have threatened sanctions.