High-Level Panel discussion on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic
Thank you Mr. President
This is a joint statement by International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD) and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ).
Our organisations are dismayed by the consequences of the bloody conflict that has been tearing Syria apart for almost six years. All parties have breached international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and have provoked unthinkable suffering to the civilian population. Thousands of people have died, millions have fled the country, many more are internally displaced, and the majority of the population is suffering for the lack of basic infrastructures.
The gravity and scope of human rights violations committed by all actors involved in the conflict have reached new lows, and urgent actions are needed to prevent a complete destruction of the country. The future of Syria and its inhabitants depends on the ability of the international community to acknowledge that the pretext of combatting terrorism cannot be used to indiscriminately hit civilian-inhabited areas and deploy weapons of mass destruction. Even the countries claiming to be intervening following the request of the government should be held accountable for the violations they continue to commit on a daily basis.
Civilians suffer the dramatic consequences of the use of cluster munitions, barrel bombs and incendiary weapons, which are extremely inaccurate and provoke substantial damages in widespread areas. The destruction of entire villages and the blockage of humanitarian convoys is further deteriorating the situation: millions of people are deprived of basic supplies, including water, food and health care, and the conditions of life in the IDPs and refugee’s camps are below all international standards.
While we welcome the new recent rounds of peace talks, we wish to express our deepest concerns for the conditions of the millions of Syrians internally displaced and for those who are forced to leave their country. We call on this Council and all Member States to take immediate measures to prevent security and opposition forces as well as militias from breaching international law and international human rights law. We further urge the Syrian government to provide immediate redress to all victims and to allow humanitarian convoys to reach all areas.