Vienna: UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on Friday for all sides to end the deadly violence in Syria and urged the international community to find a common response to the 11-month-old crisis.
    
"What is important at this time is that first the Syrian authorities must stop killing their own people," Ban told journalists on a visit to Vienna.
    
"And this violence should stop from all sides whether by national security forces or by opposition forces."
    
Ban also called for a united response from the international community to the violence, which has killed thousands of people since President Bashar al-Assad's regime began cracking down on protesters in March last year.
    
"I urge the international community to speak in one voice: stop the violence. Stop the bloodshed," he said ahead of a UN General Assembly vote on Friday on a resolution calling on Assad to stop deadly attacks on civilians.
    
"The longer we debate, the more people will die."     

Russia, one of Assad's last major friends, and China vetoed earlier this month a UN Security Council resolution condemning the violence in Syria, causing outrage in the West.
    
Moscow also reportedly opposes the General Assembly resolution, which is not binding.
    
"It was a regrettable thing that the Security Council was not able to take the draft resolution taking coherent, and in one voice, one action but now this is behind us," said Ban, who is in Vienna for a meeting on drug trafficking in Afghanistan.
    
But he added, "The lack of agreement in the Security Council does not give the government licence to continue this assault on its own people."
    
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said earlier this week that "crimes against humanity are likely to have been committed" in Syria since the crackdown began.
    
According to the United Nations, more than 5,400 people have been killed, while thousands are missing and tens of thousands more have fled the country. Monitoring groups have put the number of dead at more than 6,000.

(Agencies)