Kofi Annan, the outgoing UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria has called his job "mission impossible". So what hope is there that his replacement, Lakhdar Brahimi, can succeed in bringing an end to the violence in Syria.
The UN admits both sides appear to be set on war, yet Brahimi, the Algerian diplomat believes every conflict has a solution.
Brahimi is taking over from Annan a day after the UN Security Council ordered its UN observers out of Syria. Members of the UN team based in Homs have been making their way to their headquarters in Damascus from where they will leave the country.