The UN Security Council has condemned human rights violations and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian government.
The watered-down statement made no mention of sanctions; even so, Syria’s neighbour Lebanon disassociated itself from the move.
It comes after three days of hard bargaining and is the first clear criticism made of Syria’s harsh repression of the five-month long uprising.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “Once again, I call on President Assad and Syrian authorities to immediately cease all violence against their people, to fully respect human rights and to implement the reforms they had already announced.”
The statement comes as Syrian tanks appear to have entered the centre of Hama, a city which has seen the largest anti-government protests so far.
There are unconfirmed reports of severe destruction and piles of bodies in the city after four days of a brutal crackdown.