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UN General Assembly to take up Aleppo on Thursday
[NEW YORK] The UN General Assembly is set to address the violence in Aleppo on Thursday after the Security Council failed to adopt a resolution demanding an end to bombing of the besieged Syrian city, officials said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and UN mediator Staffan de Mistura are set to open a special informal session of the assembly at the initiative of Canada and 69 other countries over the Russian and Syrian government shelling of the northern city.
The 70 countries, of the UN's 193 UN members, addressed a letter to Mr Ban requesting the meeting.
Russia, China, many African countries and four other Security Council members - Angola, Senegal, Japan and Venezuela - did not sign the letter.
The meeting, to inform member countries about the crisis, would not lead to immediate action, Canadian Ambassador Marc-Andre Blanchard said.
"This is a time for the world to make sure we do everything possible to explore all ways to get to a cessation of hostilities and provide the humanitarian assistance needed on an urgent basis," he told AFP.
The initiative is being undertaken "because the Security Council has been unable so far to agree on the way forward," he said, adding that "the General Assembly role in this case is limited".
Other diplomats have acknowledged its main objective is to pressure on Russia to stop its relentless bombing of Aleppo, including British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, who characterised Thursday's meeting as "a first step".