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Interactive Dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic- Item 4- Statement by Ireland

Human Rights Council – 33rd session (13 September – 30 September 2016)

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

Statement by Ireland

19 September 2016

Ireland aligns itself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union and adds the following.

Mr. President,

Ireland thanks the Commission for its latest report into the Syrian conflict and commends the members of the Commission for their continued work to uphold the human rights of the Syria people. Their continued suffering, especially at the hands of the inhumanity of the Assad regime, is a reproach to this Council and the United Nations.

The crimes recorded by the Commission and listed in this latest report are horrifying. The unspeakable violence perpetrated against the people of Syria cannot be tolerated or excused and there can be no peace in Syria without accountability for the victims of this conflict.

The litany of horrors in the Commission’s report to the Council include sieges to starve entire populations, the illegal use of chemical weapons, systematic murder, forced disappearances, violence against civilians and detainees, and sexual violence including against children.

While Ireland welcomes the recent de-escalation of violence in Syria, we recall that a long-term peace can only be achieved through the implementation of the principles of the 30 June 2012 communique, and in particular through a Syrian-owned and Syrian-led national unity process based on a comprehensive political transition.  An end to all crimes, including lifting of all sieges, ending the denial of humanitarian relief and the release of all political prisoners must form the basis for a meaningful peace process. We urge that all member of this Council support the efforts of UN Special Envoy de Mistura to renew negotiations for a lasting and peaceful solution in Syria. 

We urge the Commission to continue its vital work for accountability and justice.

Thank you, Mr. President.