Russia an China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have referred the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

More than 30 UN member states have been invited to participate in the international conference of peace on Syria Preparations for the long-sought international conference on Syria, but Iran, the main Syrian ally, is not among them yet

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that he would convene in Geneva on 22 January the long-sought international conference on Syria bringing together the Government and the opposition to a negotiating table for the first time since the conflict started in March 2011.

The United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the UN Security Council that around 9.3 million people in Syria or about 40% of the population need humanitarian aid. That means 2 million more people in need than in September.