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

Statement of Ireland

14 March 2017

Ireland aligns with the statement of the EU and adds the following.

Mr President

Ireland thanks the Commission of Inquiry for its report on Aleppo and for today’s oral update.

Ireland is horrified by the long list of war crimes perpetrated against the civilians of Eastern Aleppo by all parties to the conflict. The use of chlorine gas, cluster munitions, “starve or surrender” tactics, the probable targeting of protected objects, medical personnel and transport, indiscriminate attacks and the deliberate targeting of civilians are barbarous acts. The perpetrators cannot be allowed impunity.

Ireland is deeply concerned by the Commission’s finding that the Syrian regime, in contravention of international law, sought to deliberately obstruct the delivery of humanitarian aid by using air-delivered munition with the knowledge that humanitarian workers were operating in the location.

We call on all parties to the conflict to comply with binding international law in order to ensure the protection of the civilian population and facilitate unimpeded humanitarian access throughout Syria.  In light of the findings of the Commission of Inquiry, Ireland renews its demand for legal accountability for the war crimes committed.

There can be no military solution to this conflict. We reiterate our support for renewal of the UN-led effort to renew political negotiations to end the conflict, based on the 2012 Geneva Communique and UN Security Council resolution 2254 which demands an end to violence, release of political prisoners, formation of a transitional governing body with executive powers and a constitutional reform process.

Mr President

We would be interested to hear more from the Commission on how, in practical terms, it foresees its cooperation with the Independent Mechanism established by UN General Assembly resolution 71/248.

Thank you