Ban led a high-level meeting at the UN Security Council here on the situation in the Middle East. Several other meetings to discuss the escalating violence in Syria are also being held on the sidelines of the council debate, including a bilateral meeting between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Ban said a peaceful call for long-denied democratic rights in Syria has turned into a "dangerous spiral of violence leading both Syria and the region into uncertainty."
He said President Assad's government has failed to pay heed to repeated international calls to end violence in his country and has instead subjected his citizens to "shameful" military assault and disproportionate use of force.
More than 7,500 people have been killed in Syria with continued attacks against cities of Idlib, Homs killing scores of people over the past couple of days, including women and children. Ban appealed to the UNSC, which has remained divided over the action to be taken against Syria, to "unite strongly behind ending the violence and...help Syria pull back from the brink of a deeper catastrophe.
This is vital for the Syrian people and for the entire region." Russia and China have vetoed two US and European-backed Security Council resolutions which would have condemned Assad's violent crackdown.
The two nations contend that the resolutions were unbalanced in demanding that only the government forces stop the attacks and did not lay the blame with the opposition forces, which they said too have participated in the violence.