Security Council in session. UN Photo/Ryan Brown

The Security Council this afternoon began debate on the situation in Syria, where thousands of people have been killed over the past 10 months in a Government crackdown against a popular uprising.

Nabil El Araby, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, briefed the Council on the work of the League?s human rights monitors inside Syria, after which senior representatives of Member States are scheduled to address the 15-member body on the situation in the Middle East country.

The UN has repeatedly urged the Syrian leadership to end the violence, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging President Bashar al-Assad ?stop killing his own people? and embark on a path to greaThe UN has repeatedly urged the Syrian leadership to end the violence, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging President Bashar al-Assad ?stop killing his own people? and embark on a path to greater democracy.ter democracy and heed the people?s call for representation and respect of human rights.

During his visit to Jordan today, Mr. Ban stated that ?it is more urgent than ever to put an end to this bloodshed and violence, to start a credible political solution that addresses the legitimate aspiration of the Syrian people and to protect their fundamental freedoms.?

He voiced his hope that Council will, at today?s meeting, ?bear good results, so that they can meet the expectations of the international community.?

A wave of popular uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East, known as the Arab Spring, calling for greater freedoms and reforms has led to the toppling of long-standing regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen since the start of last year.

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