Syria has seen a rise in violence recently in the two-year-old conflict the UN says has killed more than 60,000 people.
The carnage in Syria was one of the major topics at the global gathering of corporate and political leaders in the Swiss resort of Davos.
"There should be a clear signal to the Syrian regime that what they have been doing, bombarding cities by airplanes, is a war crime," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, adding that he expected the UN Security Council to step in "to stop this bloodshed".
"People are dying in Syria ... How long will we wait? ... The silence of the international community is killing people," he added.
At other sessions, Arab officials and Middle East observers expressed dismay and disagreement about what exactly should be done.
"What's happening in Syria goes beyond tragedy," said Saudi Prince Turki Al Faisal, a former intelligence chief and ambassador to the United States. "It is truly a shameful situation where the world sits by and people are being killed every day, and nobody is ready to put a stop to it."
His country is a rival of Iran, one of the main backers of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
UN humanitarian chief Valerie Ann Amos, meanwhile, emphasised how urgent the need was in Syria.
"The humanitarian situation in Syria is already catastrophic and it's clearly getting worse," said Amos. "What we are seeing now are the consequences of the failure of the international community to unite to resolve the crisis."