Syria came in for criticism from two separate United Nations reports on Monday, one for "dramatically"increasing the magnitude of human rights violations in the country, and the other noting that it was was among three nations failing its nuclear activities obligations according to the United Nations News Center .
Meanwhile, Cairo hosted an "Islamic Quartet" on Monday with the intent of ending Syria's civil war, according to the Associated Press .
Here are further details regarding the reports and the latest efforts to bring peace to Syria.
Syria witnessing "gross violations of human rights"
The report issued by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Syria indicated that Aleppo, Damascus, Dera, Latakia, Idlib, and Homs were daily sites of indiscriminate attacks against civilians. Human rights violations included torture, destruction of hopsitals and schools, sexual violence, and summary executions.
Chair of the Commission Paulo Pinheiro said that "civilians, many of them children, are bearing the brunt of the spiralling violence." Names of those responsible would not be publicly released, but would be provided to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, awaiting a mechanism by which the perpetrators could contest the allegations.
Destroyed building was likely a nuclear reactor
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) noted that Syria, along with Iran and North Korea, was not cooperating in the U.N.'s efforts to reign in nuclear proliferation.
A site at Dair Alzour that had been destroyed was alleged to have likely been a nuclear reactor, according to the IAEA's Director General Yukiya Amano. He called for Syria to address questions regarding the site that had never been answered.
Islamic Quartet brings Syria's ally, opponents together
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi met with fellow Syrian opposition supporters Turkey and Saudi Arabia and with Syria's lone regional ally Iran to begin a dialogue on ending the Syrian civil war.
No immediate plan emerged, but the parties insisted they held a common ground in wanting to see a resolution to the ongoing violence.
"The common ground between us is more than our differences," said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, as reported by the AP. "Finding a peaceful solution is important."
There are strong tensions between Syria and Turkey, where 80,000 Syrian refugees are living. Syria has said that the country is guilty of "state terrorism" and rebels operate from Turkey. Rebels also receive support from Saudi Arabia, according to the AP article.
Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and an amateur Africanist, focusing his personal studies on human rights and political issues on the continent.