UN Human Rights Council 43 Introductory statement for resolution on Syria

Thank you Madam President,

The UK has the honour to present draft resolution L.33 on the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, on behalf of a group of states: France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, the Netherlands, Qatar, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Madam President,

It is with sadness that we once again have to bring the continued dire situation of human rights in Syria to the Council’s attention.

This resolution, written and openly negotiated in March, remains valid for the current situation. It covers a wide range of human rights violations and abuses across Syria – attributing responsibility where credible evidence clearly denotes this. The text particularly highlights the grave situation in Idlib province and surrounding areas, deploring the escalation of violence that took place there at the end of 2019 and spring of 2020, which resulted in the displacement of nearly 1 million civilians, almost half of them children. It welcomes the ceasefire agreed on 5 March, and calls on all parties to abide by that ceasefire.

However, the existence of a ceasefire cannot undo the horrors already committed, and we remain fully supportive of the role of the Commission of Inquiry to document all human rights violations and abuses being carried out in Syria. This work is vital for protection and for accountability. For this reason, this text seeks to renew the mandate of the COI and also requests it to conduct a special report on the situation in Idlib province and surrounding areas.

Finally Madam President,

We would like to highlight oral revisions to two paragraphs in document L33. We have already circulated these revisions through the secretariat.

First in OP11, we have deleted the words ‘Awaits with anticipation’ and replaced with ‘welcomes’. And we have also deleted ‘while noting the importance of sharing findings publicly’.

Second, in OP69, we have deleted the words ‘to be followed by an interactive dialogue on its special inquiry’.

I now turn to the delegation of Qatar to complete the introduction of this text. We would then request that action is taken on L.33 as orally revised.

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