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Joint Statement on the Human Rights Situation in Syria
March 14, 2017

Joint Statement by the Syria Core Group

The following statement was delivered by Ambassador Julian Braithwaite (United Kingdom) on behalf of the Syria Core Group at the Human Rights Council High Level Panel Discussion on the Human Rights Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic. 

Thank you, Mr President

This statement is made on behalf of a group of states: France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UK and the US.

Today’s important discussion is a sad reminder of the horrific violations and abuses of human rights that the people of Syria continue to face on a daily basis. We would like to thank all of the brave panellists for sharing their experiences.

As the UN Commission of Inquiry has found, the Syrian regime is responsible for the illegal detention and likely enforced disappearance of tens of thousands of Syrians. Non-state armed groups also continue to hold individuals under brutal conditions.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms all human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law that continue to take place in Syria. We also call on all parties to the conflict, particularly the regime, to release all those who have been detained unlawfully and for parties holding detainees to protect the health and safety of those in their custody.

An important part of our efforts must also be to hold those responsible to account. It is essential that the Commission of Inquiry continues its work to document and investigate violations and abuses of human rights, and that the Syrian authorities co-operate with the Commission of Inquiry and the new International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism in their crucial work on accountability.

We also support fully the work of the UN Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to seek a political settlement to the conflict in Syria.

We cannot rest until a long-term political solution to the conflict is found and those responsible for violations and abuses of human rights are held to account.

Thank you, Mr President