"The first thing we need to do is find a way in which we can 'freeze' the situation in Aleppo. These people have been under siege for two years. The city is very close to collapsing. If we do not do anything and the city collapses, it could fall into the hands of ISIS, which is only 20 kilometers away, and that would be an even bigger tragedy."
While Ban's words may not stop any further clashes, he echoes the concerns of an alarmed world -- and that may have some resonance with the combatants. All of these UN activities demonstrate in myriad ways the importance of the organization in ameliorating the dangers of spiraling crises and arriving at solutions that can help tamp down conflicts and stop escalation.