UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres supports the work of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, expressing regret at the resignation of Carla del Ponte but stressing the need for accountability for crimes against civilians during the 6½-year civil war.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Monday that Guterres believes accountability is "critical" and the commission's work is "an important and integral part of the accountability process."

Del Ponte, the former prosecutor for crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, said in comments published Sunday by the Swiss magazine Blick that she was resigning in frustration at the Security Council's inaction to hold Syrian criminals accountable.

Dujarric said Guterres is "grateful for her service" to the commission and "as a tireless advocate for the cause of accountability throughout her career."