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Human Rights Council – 35th session (6 – 23 June 2017)

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

Statement by Ireland

14 June 2017

Ireland aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union and would like to add the following.

Mr President,

Ireland wishes to thank the members of the Commission for today’s update.

Ireland condemns in the strongest terms the atrocities reported by the Commission, particularly attacks on civilians, including the barbaric chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April, the continued use of “starve or surrender” tactics by the regime and the targeting of civilian infrastructure including schools and hospitals. We also condemn the practices of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and torture and execution of detainees.

These continued violations of international humanitarian law underline the need for accountability for all parties to such crimes, some of which may constitute war crimes and/or crimes against humanity. Ireland reiterates its call for the situation in Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court. Ireland also supports the establishment of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism and we look forward to the commencement of its work.

Ireland calls upon the Syrian authorities to cooperate with the Commission and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ireland further calls on all parties to ensure unimpeded and secure humanitarian access throughout the entire country.

Finally, Ireland recalls its position that there can be no military solution to this conflict and reiterates its support for the UN-led Geneva talks process, based on the 2012 Geneva communiqué 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.

Thank you.