By Mike Sergeant
BBC News, United Nations
The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has warned of possible death and suffering on a catastrophic scale in Sudan's Darfur region.
Two million people have been made homeless in Darfur
He said the violence there was escalating with renewed aerial bombing and the deployment of thousands of Sudanese army troops.
Mr Annan was addressing a meeting of the UN Security Council, called to try to resolve the deepening crisis.
He said the situation in Darfur had reached a critical moment.
Almost two million people have been displaced and three million are dependent on an increasingly fragile humanitarian operation.
No Sudanese consent
At Monday's meeting in New York, the UN secretary general asked whether the international community, having not done enough for the people of Rwanda in their time of need, could just watch as this tragedy deepened.
The UN Security Council has already passed a resolution authorising the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers to Darfur, but that will only happen if the government of Sudan gives its consent.
Once again, Sudan refused to send a high level minister or ambassador to a UN meeting.
Their representative, Yassir Abdel-Salam, expressed a willingness for dialogue and co-operation about implementing the Darfur peace agreement signed in May, but he gave no indication that his government would even consider allowing a UN force to deploy.