Yesterday, Monday September 21, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) delivered an oral intervention concerning the continuing deterioration of the situation in Syria and the plight of civilians. The statement was made on the occasion of the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) that is currently being held in Geneva until October 2.
During its intervention, CIHRS welcomed the report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Situation in Syria (CoI), which highlighted the effect of the ongoing conflict on the life of civilians and the various communities and groups within the country, including human rights defenders and journalists. CIHRS expressed its support to the conclusion of the CoI report, that: “Without stronger efforts to bring parties to the peace table, ready to compromise, the Syrian conflict will continue for the foreseeable future.”
CIHRS added that after more than four years, impunity continues to be the primary driving force that fuels this conflict. It further stressed that any political process must take place in parallel with mechanisms that provide effective remedies to victims and deterrence to perpetrators. It also insisted on the critical role of the UN Security Council (SC) to ensure justice in Syria.
In that regard, CIHRS welcomed the recent UNSC resolution creating a joint investigative mechanism between the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), with a mandate to identify individuals, entities, groups or governments perpetrating, organizing, sponsoring or involved in the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria. CIHRS called on the UN HRC member states to ensure that this Security Council mechanism and the CoI fully cooperate.
CIHRS concluded its intervention by saying that the heartbreaking picture of the tiny body of Allan Kurdi lifeless on a seashore in Turkey should remain a constant reminder of the urgent need to put an end to the barbaric crimes that have claimed the lives of so many innocent victims in Syria. The millions of Syrians who continue to suffer daily require an international community willing to unite and work together to end this conflict. It considered that “a clear message of deterrence should be sent to all parties to end the violence and resume the political process.”
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