New UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said Tuesday the death toll in Syria was "staggering" and destruction from its war "catastrophic" in his first comments to the UN General Assembly.
Brahimi said he would go to Damascus "in a few days" and that a united international stance on Syria was "indispensable and very urgent".
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The former Algerian foreign minister, who took up his post on Saturday, said the 18-month old war was "deteriorating steadily".
"The death toll is staggering, the destruction is reaching catastrophic proportions and the suffering of the people is immense," he added in his brief speech to the 193-member assembly.
"The future of Syria will be built by its people and none other," the 78-year-old diplomat added. "The support of the international community is indispensable and very urgent. It will only be effective if all pull in the same direction."