The UN votes today on another toothless resolution condemning the violent 11-month crackdown in Syria. The wording is similar to the motion vetoed by Russia and China on 4 February, but is non-binding. More urgent for those suffering the onslaught of Assad's forces will be today's meeting between Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and France's Alain Juppé, to discuss a French proposal for humanitarian corridors. For the millions of civilians trapped inside Syria and failed by global inaction, the most pressing need has become a safe haven from the violence.
In another tentative step towards peace with the Taliban, Afghan president Hamid Karzai has arrived in Islamabad for talks with his Pakistani counterparts. While America has also opened space for negotiations with the Taliban in Qatar, this summit will trouble many in the US State Department. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will also attend, and Karzai is meeting with Maulana Sami ul Haq, spiritual teacher to many Taliban leaders and a steadfast supporter of the Afghan insurgency. The US has long urged a regional solution to the problem – but on its own terms.
Good news for tigers: heads of police and customs in 13 countries have agreed to tighter controls to combat the illegal trade in this endangered species. Over the last decade, the tiger population has fallen by a shocking 40%, and only around 4,000 tigers still live in the wild. Vowing to work together after a two-day summit in Bangkok, delegates have acknowledged that: "If we get the enforcement system right for the tiger, we will help save countless other species together with their ecosystems."