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Ireland calls for Security Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court

United Nations, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Security, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, Ireland, 2014

 

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, has announced that Ireland will formally request the UN Security Council to refer the conflict in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

Ireland is joining with all 28 EU countries as well as a number of other UN member states in co-sponsoring the Security Council Resolution, which will allow the Court to investigate possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria. It will be voted on at the UN this morning (Thursday 22 May).

Speaking ahead of the vote, the Tánaiste said:

“What we are witnessing in Syria is an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe as the country is slowly being torn apart through violence and conflict. War crimes have clearly been committed in Syria and we have a duty to ensure that there should be no impunity for those responsible. The International Criminal Court is the appropriate international forum for justice and accountability and I call on all members of the Security Council to fulfil their duty to uphold international law and approve this resolution.”

Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, announced additional funding of €5 million to address the urgent humanitarian needs within Syria. He said:

“The crisis in Syria is now well into its fourth year and the human cost is truly shocking. The death toll due to the conflict is now estimated to be in excess of 150,000 people. More than 2.7 million Syrians have sought refuge in neighbouring countries and more than 9 million people within Syria are in urgent need of assistance.

“This additional €5 million will be channelled through trusted UN partners and the International Red Cross Movement to meet the most urgent needs of thousands of refugees. The funding will help to provide food, shelter, medical services and to help protect women and children. This brings to €9 million our funding to the Syrian crisis to date this year.”

To date Ireland’s overall funding commitment from 2011 to the end of 2014 is over €26 million.

The Tánaiste welcomed the additional funding, saying:

“Humanitarian access remains a serious concern and has become even more precarious due to security, administrative, and operational restrictions. We fully support the existing Security Council Resolution 2139, which calls for all parties to the conflict to facilitate the delivery of life-saving humanitarian aid. Ireland has been to the fore in the international efforts to help alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people and is one of the most generous contributors to the humanitarian response on a per capita basis.”

The Tánaiste and Minister Costello also paid tribute to the UN/Arab League Joint Special Representative, Mr Lakhdar Brahimi, who has announced his intention to stand down after two years in the role.

 

Press Office

21 May 2014