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Oct 23, 2012

The UN continues to face formidable challenges in responding effectively to the most complex conflicts in the world today, yet remains a uniquely qualified “go-to” institution for such tasks. The crisis in Syria captures many of these dynamics: the limits of intervening in a country where a peaceful protest morphed into a civil war, and where there was not sufficient consensus among the Permanent Five members of the Security Council, and the acute requirements of humanitarian need for refugees and for innocent civilians caught in the conflict. Ellen Laipson, president and CEO of the Stimson Center, addressed the Syria case as it illuminates broader issues about the UN.