UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday said that "we are still a long way from getting the Syrians together" for a political solution to the longstanding crisis in the Middle East country and he called on again "all states to cease sending arms to either side in Syria."
The secretary-general, speaking at his first press conference this year, said, "The political environment remains polarized in Syria and in the region."
"Yet, a deadly military momentum has taken hold," Ban said. "I call again for all states to cease sending arms to either side in Syria."
However, the secretary-general did not name any countries which he accused of providing arms to government forces and rebels that are fueling the ongoing fighting and violence in the Middle East country.
The secretary-general on Monday met with Lakhdar Brahimi, the joint special representative of the United Nations and Arab League for Syria, who Ban said is continuing his diplomatic efforts to mediate a political solution to the Syrian crisis, which broke out in March 2011.
"Our shared assessment is that we are still a long way from getting the Syrians together," Ban said, referring his discussions with Brahimi, the former Algerian foreign minister who replaced Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, in September 2012 to mediate on behalf of the United Nations and Arab League.
"The key decisions about the country's future are in the hands of the Syrians," Ban said. "But the international community, and in particular the Security Council, has a grave responsibility to act to bring the desperate suffering of the Syrian people to an end."
Ban listed the Syrian crisis as one of his priorities for this year.
"The calamity in Syria is without doubt our main immediate test," he said. "The humanitarian situation is dire and getting worse and worse. Millions of people are struggling to survive."
More than 650,000 people have fled the country, Ban said. " Lack of food and denial of access to medial treatment, inadequate shelter and heating during the harsh winter are taking their toll. "
While the United Nations is working hard to bring an early end to the conflict in Syria, the world body is struggling to deliver humanitarian assistance to the Syrians in need.
The Syrian crisis has left a lot of people displaced inside the country and led to a massive influx of refugees into neighboring countries, such as Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.
"Humanitarian workers are feeding 1.5 million people and providing basic relief supplies for some 400,000 people -- but that this is just not enough," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here last week.
The humanitarian community has asked for 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to adequately address the needs of displaced persons in Syria, as well as the refugees in neighboring countries, but Nesirky said that the fund is only "around 3 percent funded so far, " he said.