An official website of the United States government

U.S. Introduces Resolution on Syria at the Human Rights Council
September 27, 2013

Introduction of Syria Resolution

Statement of the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe

UN Human Rights Council – 24th Session
Geneva, September 26, 2013

(Note:  The resolution was adopted by a vote of 40/1/6)

Thank you, Mr. President.

On behalf of Qatar, UK, U.S., Turkey, Germany, Jordan, France, Kuwait, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, I would like to present to the Council a resolution titled “the continuing grave deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic.”

The text has been orally revised and circulated in the room.  PP 6 reads “Welcoming the efforts of the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States and expressing full support to find a negotiated political solution to the Syrian crisis.”

It is with great regret and grave concern that it is necessary to present yet another resolution on Syria at the Human Rights Council.  For more than two years this Council has expressed its deepest concern over the deteriorating human rights situation and the armed conflict in Syria.  The crisis in Syria is having a devastating impact on civilians, who are denied their fundamental freedoms and the ability to exercise their human rights.  We remain very concerned about indiscriminate attacks and the deliberate targeting of protected civilians, which have caused an appalling number of injuries and casualties.  And we condemn the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime – the use of the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people.

The resolution that we present today has three key aims.  First, to condemn in the strongest terms the ongoing violations of international humanitarian law and the violations and abuses of international human rights law.  Second, to call for full and unfettered access throughout Syria for the UN mandated commission of inquiry and humanitarian agencies.  Third, to highlight the need for accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law. The resolution thus encourages states to take steps to support and enable current and future accountability efforts.

The resolution we present before you today represents a measured response to the grave human rights and humanitarian situation on the ground.  We have consulted widely to achieve a short, focused text. It deserves the broadest support within the Council.  The people of Syria deserve our support.

Thank you, Mr. President.