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The grave and deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic
October 1, 2015

U.S. Statement on the Human Rights Council
Resolution on The grave and deteriorating human rights
and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

The United States welcomes the resolution on “the continuing grave deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic” and urges all members to vote YES. By passing this resolution, the Human Rights Council will continue to fulfill the important role of drawing global attention to the atrocities taking place in Syria at the hands of the Syrian regime and extremist groups. The United States strongly supports justice and accountability in Syria and welcomes the continued robust attention to this crisis at the Council.

The United States supports the text as presented, and urges all members to reject the proposed amendment. References to the abuses committed by Hezbollah, whose participation in the conflict in Syria has exacerbated the situation, have appeared in Syria resolutions at this Council and at the UN General Assembly. We urge all member states to vote “NO” on that proposed amendment and “YES” on the resolution as presented.

The Commission of Inquiry (COI), despite repeated denial of access, continues to provide critical reporting on the ongoing serious violations and abuses in Syria. In its most recent report, the COI rightly calls attention to the impact of the Syrian regime’s continued air assault on Syria’s people and cities. The regime’s relentless bombing is causing the deaths of thousands, including children, doctors, and teachers, and devastating schools, hospitals, and market places. The United States echoes Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura’s strong condemnation of the effects of the Asad regime’s intensified bombing across Syria, including with barrel bombs, on civilians and infrastructure. We condemn as well the regime’s use of torture, gender-based violence, extrajudicial killings, and politically motivated imprisonment of civilians and perceived opponents.

We reiterate our call, united with the Syrian people and members of the international community, for an immediate end to all violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, especially the egregious, widespread, and continued violations committed by the Asad regime. We urge continued support to UN Special Envoy de Mistura’s efforts to promote a political transition based on the Geneva Communique.