World leaders slammed al-Assad's speech, with British Foreign Secretary William Hague calling it "beyond hypocritical."
"Deaths, violence and oppression engulfing #Syria are his own making, empty promises of reform fool no one," Hague tweeted.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday that he was "disappointed" by the speech, saying "it does not contribute to a solution that could end the terrible suffering of the Syrian people."
At least 71 people, including seven children, were killed Monday in fresh violence, the opposition Local Coordination Committees said. More than 60,000 Syrians have been killed in the past 22 months, according to the United Nations. The chaos started in March 2011, when peaceful anti-government protesters were met by a fierce government crackdown, which spiraled into an armed opposition movement and a civil war.
Al-Assad's family has ruled Syria for more than 40 years.